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Confronting Racism as Spiritual Practice

An honest look at the church's role in the history of racism in America.

Elise Edwards

2020 Summer Formation

Spiritual growth involves helping us to see ourselves as who we are, not just who we wish to be or try to be.  Many of us are already doing this work in our spiritual lives and know that the Christian life is an ongoing process of sanctification.  Many of us already use tools and resources like scripture reading, the enneagram, spiritual direction, and centering prayer for spiritual growth.  We try to face our sins and examine them, trusting that the Holy Spirit doesn't ask us to do this so that we may be condemned or assaulted by guilt and shame.  Rather, we acknowledge our sins because we are enslaved to sin, and the power of Christ allows us to be transformed and renewed and healed.  

This study on confronting racism adopts this confessional, transformation-oriented approach.  Racism is an evil and a kind of sin that we have internalized.  It's time for us to confess and repent so that we can be truly transformed.

If Christians are to confront racism sincerely, there are some questions we must ask: 

--How has the American church, as an institution, been complicit in racism? 
--How might we begin to address this in our worship, teaching, polity, and practices?

We also seek to discern what actions we might take, individually and corporately, to address the systemic racism that is so much a part of our society. 



How (and Why) We are Going to Talk about Racism
Foreword and Chapter 1 


Origins of Racial Conflict in Early America
Chapters 2-5


 The Jim Crow Era
Chapters 6-7


Civil Rights to Black Lives Matter
Chapters 8-10


What Now?
Chapter 11 and Conclusion

Living as Religious Ethical Mediators Essay
by Marcia Riggs

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