Taking Up #blacklivesmatter

A Neo-Kuyperian Engagement with Critical Race Theory

in Journal of Reformed Theology
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Even though theology and Critical Race Theory (CRT) have yet to partner with one another in earnest, neo-Calvinism of the Kuyperian variety shares with CRT some important commitments. Kuyper and CRT both problematize liberalism. For Kuyper, French Revolutionary liberalism was a humanistic revolt against the God from whom originate individual freedoms and before whom all people stand as equals. For CRT, legal liberalism and constitutionalism purport to guarantee the rights of individuals, but far more often fail to enfranchise the weaker parties in society. Their shared critique is no solution. However, CRT’s insistence on race-consciousness is a major contribution to what would otherwise be Kuyperian abstract-ness. In turn, theology offers mature reflection on anthropology as well as eschatology that would otherwise not appear in CRT. Bavinck’s doctrine of the image of God grounds race-consciousness in a future where the human community of covenant promise is richly and concretely diverse.

Taking Up #blacklivesmatter

A Neo-Kuyperian Engagement with Critical Race Theory

in Journal of Reformed Theology

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References

1

Alicia Garza“A Herstory of the #Blacklivesmatter Movement,” The Feminist Wire (2014) http://thefeministwire.com/2014/10/blacklivesmatter-2/.

2

George Harinck“Abraham Kuyper, South Africa, and Apartheid,” The Princeton Seminary Bulletin 23 no. 2 (2002): 187.

4

Peter Paris“The African and African-American Understanding of Our Common Humanity: A Critique of Abraham Kuyper’s Anthropology,” in Religion Pluralism and Public Life Abraham Kuyper’s Legacy for the Twenty-First Centuryed. Luis E. Lugo (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans2000) 268.

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Russel Botman“Is Blood Thicker Than Justice? The Legacy of Abraham Kuyper for South Africa,” in Religion Pluralism and Public Life Abraham Kuyper’s Legacy for the Twenty-First Centuryed. Luis E. Lugo (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans2000) 358.

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10

See Kimberlé CrenshawCritical Race Theory: The Key Writings That Formed the Movement (New York: New Press1995). See also Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic Critical Race Theory: The Cutting Edge (Philadelphia: Temple University Press 2013). Whether these three consider themselves theologians is unclear but Anthony E. Cook Kenneth Prewitt and Harlon L. Dalton are all legal scholars who have done theological work at divinity schools. Dalton is an ordained episcopal priest.

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Stout“Christianity” 45.

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Delgado and StefancicCritical Race Theory21.

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31

Delgado and StefancicCritical Race Theory91.

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Russel Botman“The Church Partitioned or the Church Reconciled? South Africa’s Historical and Theological Dilemma,” in Race and Reconciliation in South Africa: A Multicultural Dialogue in Comparative Perspectiveed. William E. Van Vugt and Daan Cloete (Lanham: Lexington Books2000) 107–108.

36

Sherrilyn A. Ifill“Creating a Truth and Reconciliation for Lynching,” Law and Inequality 21 (2003).

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Richard J. MouwThe Challenges of Cultural Discipleship: Essays in the Line of Abraham Kuyper (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans2012) 16.

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42

Stout“Christianity” 52.

45

BavinckReformed Dogmatics2 577. The emphasis for this article is added to the word “is.”

46

Jonathan Capehart“ ‘Hands up, Don’t Shoot’ Was Built on a Lie,” Washington Post (2015) http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2015/03/16/lesson-learned-from-the-shooting-of-michael-brown/.

47

Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic“Images of the Outsider in American Law and Culture: Can Free Expression Remedy Systemic Social Ills,” Cornell Law Review 77 no. 6 (1992): 1281.

48

Delgado and Stefancic“Images” 1291.

49

Delgado and Stefancic“Images” 1291.

50

Allan Aubrey Boesak and Leonard SweetmanBlack and Reformed: Apartheid Liberation and the Calvinist Tradition (Maryknoll: Orbis Books1984) 95.

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