Race and Christianity in Australia

Vernon Ah Kee, 'Austracism', 2003. Prints, digital print, printed in colour inks, from digital file, 120.0 x 180.0 cm. National Gallery of Australia, Canberra

Vernon Ah Kee, Austracism, 2003. Prints, digital print, printed in colour inks, from digital file, 120 x 180 cm. National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.

I have a new essay out:

‘Race and Christianity in Australia’, Post-Christendom Studies 4 (2019–2020), 25–74.

The opening paragraph reads:

The thesis of this essay is that racism in Australia has explicitly Christian roots. In particular, these roots find their beginnings in the European story of Christendom. To defend that claim, the essay does three things. First, it traces the history of racism in Australia, mapping how immigration policies and practices regarding assimilation following the Second World War expose longstanding commitments to the idea of an Australia that is both “white” and “Christian.” Second, it explores how the roots of such racism intersect with and are sponsored by the “biological heresy” of Christendom and its practice of both politicizing and making “barbarians” of “the other.” Finally, it offers three brief theological reflections on the possibilities of an alternative Christian witness amidst the conditions mapped in the first two sections. Here the concerns are with conceptions of power, with what it means to speak of the Christian community as “the body of Christ,” and with the theological task itself.

You can read the rest here.

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