cover image Decolonizing Christianity: Becoming Badass Believers

Decolonizing Christianity: Becoming Badass Believers

Miguel A. De La Torre. Eerdmans, $24.99 (224) ISBN 978-0-8028-7847-2

De La Torre (Reading the Bible from the Margins), professor of social ethics at the Iliff School of Theology in Denver, argues in this incisive analysis that the white supremacist tradition in the Protestant church must be recognized in order for those who have been disenfranchised to understand the inherent lies within these “unjust social structures” and seek ways to move forward. Insisting on white Christianity’s inextricable ties to and foundations in genocide, racism, and sexism, the author aims to show how Christianity has been used as a “mask” to cover “death-dealing policies” and to “demonstrate how dispossessed communities have believed the lie of white supremacy.” To support his arguments, De La Torre cites America’s history of slavery and imperialism (“a white nation built on stolen land, with stolen labor, using stolen resources”), as well as Christianity’s complicity in justifying both. Readers should not pick this up looking for fixes; when De La Torre does discuss making change, he focuses on the fundamentals: “Provide food for those who are hungry, give clean water to those who are thirsty… bring justice to the incarcerated, and provide medicine to the infirm.” These basic tenets that Christ gave to his followers are, for De La Torre, the key points that white supremacist Christianity forgets. While De La Torre’s premise will likely make some bristle, Christians within a Protestant evangelical tradition may find it eye-opening. [em](May) [/em]