Friday, July 27, 2012

Was Jesus Lily-White? Author Edward Blum Discusses Race and the Mormon Religion

*R3 Contributor Edward Blum is featured in this Daily Beast piece talking about his new book, The Color of Christ: The Son of God and the Saga of Race in America. Read the article below.

*Note: Make sure you see Edward Blum on September 21, 2012 in Memphis, Tennessee when he comes to talk about the book at the University of Memphis and Caritas Village. 
The Color of Christ will be the R3bookclub Book of the Month in October.

Talk about playing the race card!

Edward Blum, a history professor and religious scholar at San Diego State University and co-author of the forthcoming book The Color of Christ: The Son of God and the Saga of Race in America, isn’t just playing that card, he’s playing with fire with his potentially incendiary thoughts on the current presidential campaign and race—specifically, the race of Jesus Christ.

Yes, you read that right. Who knew that Jesus' skin color was a hot campaign issue this year?

Well, it is, if subconsciously, insists Blum, who says that while neither President Barack Obama nor former governor Mitt Romney has said anything about whether Jesus was white, black, or any other color, there’s a strong if unspoken intersecting narrative of race and religion that greatly defines this election.

In the 2008 presidential race, the words of Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Obama's former preacher, about a black Jesus being killed by white Romans, caused a firestorm of controversy and almost destroyed Obama's campaign.

Those hostilities still linger among many white conservative Christians, says Blum. But, he says, there has been little if any questioning in this campaign of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints’ approach to what Jesus looked like.

"Why did Wright’s jeremiads and visions of a black Jesus so terrify Americans in 2008, and why does the powerful white, blue-eyed imagery of the Jesus of Romney’s Mormon faith arouse no interest?" asks Blum. “Neither one is accurate, but only one has generated outrage or gotten much media attention.”
Read the rest here

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