Mittâ€™s Jesus, Barackâ€™s Jesus, and Why Christâ€™s Color Matters
Four years ago, America was on the verge of electing the countryâ€™s first African American presidentâ€”a stunning marker, for many, of the promises of progress fulfilled. This year, Barack Obama faces a Mormon challenger, and religion, not race, fuels at least some of the suspense of this close presidential contest. But religion and race in the U.S. share a profound and tangled historyâ€”one that Ed Blum and Paul Harvey bring forth vividly in their new book, The Color of Christ.
What did a white Jesus mean to a population of enslaved Africans, or to Native Americans? Why were Mormons in particular so committed to a lily-white God? What can we read into the shattered image of the stained-glass savior in a Birmingham church? The bookâ€”an illuminating and powerful readâ€”dives deeply into these and other questions. Anthea Butler, Professor of religion at the University of Pennsylvania, hosts a conversation with the bookâ€™s authors, along with Religion Dispatches‘ own Joanna Brooks and Memphis Theological Seminaryâ€™s Andre E. Johnson.