In this article I critically engage the Duke theologians of race—Carter, Jennings, and Bantam—devoting attention especially to Jennings. While appreciating and acknowledging the significance of these projects, I critique Jennings’s selective historiography and suggest that engaging the Anglo-American early modern supersessionist theologies of culture and race would have benefitted Jennings’ project. Then I trace out some implications of Jennings’s call to re-engage Israel and examine how his idealized vision of “submersion and in submission to another’s cultural realities” affects the notion of conversion theologically. As an Asian-American historical theologian, I argue that race is not and should no longer be looked upon as a black-white binary reality. In conclusion, I call for a historiographical fine-tuning of these theologies of race.
The Journal of the Society for Pentecostal Studies
J. Kameron Carter, Race: A Theological Account (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008); Willie James Jennings, The Christian Imagination: Theology and the Origins of Race (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2010); Brian Bantum, Redeeming Mulatto: Theology of Race and Christian Hybridity (Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2010).
Jonathan Tran, “The New Black Theology: Retrieving Ancient Sources to Challenge Racism,”Christian Century129, no. 3 (February 8, 2012): 24–27. For a similar contribution in this period and the reconfiguration of Christianity in particular, see Paul Lim, Mystery Unveiled: The Crisis of the Trinity in Early Modern England (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012); Jonathan Sheehan, The Enlightenment Bible: Translation, Scholarship, Culture (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2005).