Resources for Countering White Supremacy and Racism

In light of the global impact of recent police killings of unarmed Black men and women in the United States, as witnessed by sweeping international protests over racial injustice and police brutality, we offer here the start to a global collection of theological resources for countering white supremacy and racial injustice. We invite members to submit their own (or recommended) publications to catholicethics@gmail.com so that we can augment this page with international and multilingual resources. The emphasis of texts or multimedia items proposed should be upon intersections with Catholic theological ethics and other ecumenical and disciplinary resources most directly relevant to that focus. The list at this stage is weighted toward materials on anti-Black racism, in response to global solidarity and affirmations that Black Lives Matter. Whereas our topical resource lists typically only contain members’ contributions, this list has been expanded to include some additional relevant resources.

From CTEWC Members

Anne Arabome, “I Can’t Breathe Because God Can’t Breathe,” National Catholic Reporter (June 10, 2020).

Shawnee Daniels-Sykes

Craig A. Ford, “A Natural Law for Queer and Racial Justice,” Canopy Forum (January 2020).

Stan Chu Ilo, “Racism, the Church, and the suffering of people of African descent,” La Croix International (June 18, 2020).

Teresia Hinga, “Covid-19’s WASH Factor- A Solution for the Syndemic?” for the July First.

Bryan N. Massingale

Jeremy V. Cruz

MT Dávila

Nichole Flores

  • “Ella Baker,” in Can I Get a Witness? Thirteen Peacemakers, Community Builders, and Agitators for Faith & Justice, edited by Charles Marsh, Shea Tuttle, and Daniel P. Rhodes (Eerdmans, 2019): 117-134.
  • We Who Believe in Freedom: Ella Baker’s Creed” – Podcast episode (The Project on Lived Theology, February 2019).

Kathy Lilla Cox, “The Duty of White Christians to Dismantle the Idolatry of Racism,” National Catholic Reporter (July 3, 2020).

Charles Curran, “Facing Up to Privilege Requires Conversion,” National Catholic Reporter (June 2016).

David DeCosse, “No Going Back: the Killing of George Floyd” – YouTube panel discussion on racism and police reform (Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University, June 8, 2020).

Mary Jo Iozzio, “If You Sow Lies You Will Reap Violence: America’s Original Sin is Anti-Black Racism,” in the September First.

Michael Jaycox

Eli McCarthy, “Police Violence: We Need to Name it and Go Deeper,” Catholic Moral Theology (June 22, 2020).

Dawn M. Nothwehr, That They May Be One: Catholic Social Teaching on Racism, Tribalism, and Xenophobia (Orbis Books, 2008).

Maureen O’Connell, “After White Supremacy: The Viability of Virtue Ethics for Racial Justice,” Journal of Moral Theology 3, no. 1 (2014): 83-104.

Nicholas Postlethwaite, “Poetry and Racism,” for the July First.

Tobias Winright, “White privilege- a confession in response to the Black Lives Matter protests,” The Tablet (June 11, 2020).

Ecclesial Statements on Racism

From the United States:

Professional Organizations’ Work and Statements

Resources from Christian Theology and Ethics

Thea Bowman

J. Cameron Carter, Race: A Theological Account (Oxford University Press, 2008).

James H. Cone

  • Said I Wasn’t Gonna Tell Nobody (Orbis Books, 2018).
  • The Cross and the Lynching Tree (Orbis Books, 2013).
  • A Black Theology of Liberation (Orbis Books, 1970/2010).
  • Black Theology & Black Power (Orbis Books, 1969/2018).
  • Among additional works

M. Shawn Copeland

  • Enfleshing Freedom: Body, Race, and Being (Fortress Press, 2010).
  • Knowing Christ Crucified: The Witness of African-American Religious Experience (Orbis Books, 2018).
  • Uncommon Faithfulness: the Black Catholic Experience, edited by M. Shawn Copeland (Orbis Books, 2009).
  • “Racism and the Vocation of the Theologian,” Spiritus: A Journal of Christian Spirituality 2, no. 1 (Spring 2002).
  • Black Theology and a Legacy of Oppression,” America Magazine (June 24, 2014).
  • Enfleshing Theology: Embodiment, Discipleship, and Politics in the Work of M. Shawn Copeland, ed. Robert J. Rivera and Michele Saracino (Rowman & Littlefield, 2018).
  • “Enfleshing the Freedom of Black Lives: Resistance, Solidarity and Hope,” video discussion with Nathan Wood-House, Church in the 21st Century Center (August 2020).

Cyprian Davis, The History of Black Catholics in the United States (Herder & Herder, 1995).

Kelly Brown Douglas, Stand Your Ground: Black Bodies and the Justice of God (Orbis Books, 2015).

Joseph Drexler-Dreis and Kristien Justaert, ed. Beyond the Doctrine of Man: Decolonial Visions of the Human (Fordham University Press, 2020).

David Theo Goldberg, Racist Culture: Philosophy and the Politics of Meaning (Wiley-Blackwell, 1993).

Matthew Hawkins, “Toward a Catholic Understanding of the Phrase ‘Black Lives Matter’,” Diocese of Pittsburgh, June 30, 2020.

Jeannine Hill Fletcher

  • The Sin of White Supremacy: Christianity, Racism, and Religious Diversity in America (Orbis Books, 2017).
  • “Warrants for Reconstruction: Christian Hegemony, White Supremacy,” Journal of Ecumenical Studies 51, no. 1 (Winter 2016): 54-79.

Diana L. Hayes and Cyprian Davis, editors, Taking Down Our Harps: Black Catholics in the United States (Orbis Books, 1998).

Dwight N. Hopkins, Shoes That Fit Our Feet: Sources for a Constructive Black Theology (Orbis Books, 1993).

Dwight N. Hopkins and George C.L. Cummings, ed., Cut Loose Your Stammering Tongue: Black Theology in the Slave Narrative (Westminster John Knox Press, 2003).

Willie James Jennings, The Christian Imagination: Theology and the Origins of Race (Yale University Press, 2011).

Martin Luther King, Jr.

  • The Essential Martin Luther King Jr.: “I Have a Dream” and other Great Writings, ed. Clayborne Carson, ebook (Beacon Press, 2013).
  • Letter from Birmingham Jail (April 16, 1963).
  • Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community? (Beacon Press, 1968/2010).

Vincent W. Lloyd and Andrew Prevot, eds, Anti-Blackness and Christian Ethics (Orbis Books, 2017).

Andrew Prevot, Black and Womanist Traditions in the United States (Brill, 2018).

Nestor Medina, Mestizaje: Remapping Race, Culture, and Faith in Latina/O Catholicism (Orbis Books, 2009).

Olga M. Segura

Howard Thurman, Jesus and the Disinherited (Beacon Press, 1976).

Chanequa Walker-Barnes, I Bring the Voices of My People: A Womanist Vision for Racial Reconciliation (Eerdmans, 2019).

Cornel West, Prophesy Deliverance! An Afro-American Revolutionary Christianity (Westminster John Knox Press, 1982/2002).

Shannen Dee Williams

Delores Williams, Sisters in the Wilderness: The Challenge of Womanist God-Talk (Orbis Books, 1993).

Reggie R. Williams, Bonhoeffer’s Black Jesus: Harlem Renaissance Theology and an Ethic of Resistance (Baylor University Press, 2014).

Laurie Cassidy and Alex Mikulich, eds, Interrupting White Privilege: Catholic Theologians Break the Silence (Orbis Books, 2007).

Alex Mikulich, Laurie Cassidy, and Margaret Pfeil, eds, The Scandal of White Complicity and US Hyper-Incarceration: A Nonviolent Spirituality of Resistance (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013).

Matthew Cressler, Authentically Black and Truly Catholic: The Rise of Black Catholicism in the Great Migration (New York University Press, 2017).

Katie Grimes

  • Fugitive Saints: Catholicism and the Politics of Slavery (Fortress Press, 2017).
  • Christ Divided: Antiblackness as a Corporate Vice (Fortress Press, 2017).
  • “Breaking the Body of Christ: the Sacraments of Initiation in a Habitat of White Supremacy,” Political Theology 18, no. 1 (2018): 22-43.
  • “Antiblackness,” Theological Studies 81, no. 1 (March 2020): 169-180.
  • The Catholic Church and Antiblackness,” An interview with Katie Grimes by Patrick Hyland (The Jesuit Post, 2020).

Karen Teel

  • Racism and the Image of God (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010).
  • “Feeling White, Feeling Good: ‘Antiracist’ White Sensibilities,” in White Self-Criticality Beyond Anti-Racism: How Does It Feel to be a White Problem? ed. George Yancy, 21-36 (Lexington, 2015).
  • “What Jesus Wouldn’t Do: A White Theologian Engages Whiteness,” in Christology and Whiteness: What Would Jesus Do? ed. George Yancy, 19-35 (Routledge, 2012).

Biblical Interpretation

Randall C. Bailey, Tat-Siong Benny Liew, and Fernando F. Segovia, editors, They Were All in One Place? Toward Minority Biblical Criticism (Society of Biblical Literature, 2009).

Cain Hope Felder, editor, Stony the Road We Trod: African American Biblical Interpretation (Augsburg Fortress, 1991).

Annie Tinsley, A Postcolonial African American Re-reading of Colossians: Identity, Reception, and Interpretation Under the Gaze of Empire (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013).

Additional Helpful Reading Lists