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Title page for ETD etd-03162012-223709

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Schoonmaker, Geoffrey Noel
URN etd-03162012-223709
Title Preaching about Race: A Homiletic for Racial Reconciliation
Degree PhD
Department Religion
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Professor John S. McClure Committee Chair
Professor Amy-Jill Levine Committee Member
Professor Brad R. Braxton Committee Member
Professor Dale P. Andrews Committee Member
  • critical race theory
  • preaching
  • Ephesians 2:11-22
  • jerusalem collection
  • reparations
  • evangelicalism
  • atonement
  • homiletic ethics
  • racism
Date of Defense 2012-02-27
Availability unrestricted
This project develops a homiletic for preaching persuasively about race in white American evangelical congregations. I analyze racism in America through the lens of critical race theory, stressing the prevalence of unconscious racism, the inadequacy of color-blindness, and the importance of sacrificing white privilege. I outline a theology of racial atonement based on Ephesians 2:11-22, arguing that Jesus Christ died to establish racial equality and reconciliation without racial sameness. In correlating critical race theory and Eph 2:11-22, I propose that white churches provide racial reparations to black churches in accordance with the biblical theme of justice, specifically the Apostle Paul’s Jerusalem collection. I further argue that since racism historically has been legitimated through biblical and theological appeals, both critical race theory and Christian preaching need more critical race theology, as exemplified in the work of W. E. B. Du Bois. Finally, I propose that preachers employ Eph 2:11-22 to re-script racial reality in white evangelical churches, casting racism as a personal and social structural sin and advocating righteous race consciousness rather than color-blindness.

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