Historicizing a Racialized Jesus: Case Studies in the "Black Christ," the "Mestizo Christ," and White Critique

in Biblical Interpretation
Restricted Access
Get Access to Full Text
Rent on DeepDyve

Have an Access Token?



Enter your access token to activate and access content online.

Please login and go to your personal user account to enter your access token.



Help

Have Institutional Access?



Access content through your institution. Any other coaching guidance?



Connect

This article examines the interaction between the quest for the historical Jesus in modern biblical scholarship and contemporary theologies in which race and ethnicity play a major role. While ideologies of race have certainly been formative of modern biblical scholarship, such scholarship has in turn had an important influence on the construction of various modern Jesuses, where race becomes the determinative contemporary marker for articulating the continuing reality of the historical Jesus. This essay looks at how modern biblical scholarship has contributed to the historicizing and retrojection of a racialized Jesus. In particular, two case studies of such historicizing racialization are presented: Jesus as the "black Christ," and Jesus as the "mestizo Christ." The focus here is on the important work of James Cone and Virgilio Elizondo, with attention to how the historical Jesus is idealized with a "black" or "mestizo" identity. The essentializing character of historical Jesus studies provides a springboard for Cone's parallel essentializing of Jesus as "black" while Elizondo's Hegelianesque portrait of Jesus as the "mestizo" bridge between the borderlands of Jewish and Gentile territory relies on modern biblical scholarship's construction of the historical Jesus as somehow the synthesis of both Galilean peasant and urban Greek sophisticate. Finally, attention is devoted to the role of white privilege and "white critique" when it comes to racializing the historical Jesus.

Biblical Interpretation

A Journal of Contemporary Approaches

Information

Content Metrics

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 31 31 15
Full Text Views 3 3 3
PDF Downloads 2 2 2
EPUB Downloads 0 0 0