The first selection is the concluding pages of Cyprian Davis’ famous book The History of Black Catholics in the United States. It will give us a brief historical account to ground our discussion of race and the Christian tradition.
1. Write a paragraph about what you learned from Davis’ article regarding the Catholic Church and racial justice in the 20th century. Note that this article does not try to clear up some of the ambiguities surrounding race and Christianity… Davis is happy to simply provide you with some stories and offer his thoughts on their significance. So, your paragraph here should indicate that you recognize that things are rather complicated here! One strand you might want to keep an eye on is the relationship between theory and practice… in other words, how did theoretical teachings about race actually work out in real life?
The second selection is an article by Brian Bantum, a Christian pastor and scholar. He argues here that Christians cannot be “post-racial” given our current state of affairs.
2. Being “post-racial” initially might sound like it could be a good thing… What does Bantum mean by the term “post-racial” and what are some of his reasons for saying that Christians cannot be “post-racial” (if you’re stuck, think about his claims that “race matters” in various ways)?
3. On page 7, Bantum talks about 2 “beasts”. Explain the difference between the “beast” of the 1960’s and the “beast” of today.
4. Briefly discuss 2 examples from the text that show the difference that Bantum’s Christian faith makes for how he understands the topic of race. (hint: he continually talks about discipleship, a word that you all should be familiar with by now…)