cover image Raise Your Voice: Why We Stay Silent and How to Speak Up

Raise Your Voice: Why We Stay Silent and How to Speak Up

Kathy Khang. InterVarsity, $16 trade paper (176p) ISBN 978-0-8308-4540-8

Khang (More Than Serving Tea) brings a bold and challenging perspective on “voice” to the evangelical Christian lifestyle and a refreshing approach to the convergence of religion and culture. Khang primarily reexamines the story of Esther, arguing that it is often presented through the lens of a white male reducing the biblical queen to the winner of a beauty pageant. In her telling, the story reinforces the idea that “hiding in plain sight” in order to appease cultural standards effectively silences minority groups. By looking at Esther’s response to Mordecai (agreeing to become the king’s wife in order to save the Hebrew population), Khang details how the perception of one’s own personal safety versus the safety of the community at large can make it challenging to speak up for oneself and for others. According to Khang, “learning to speak in the context of community is key for the long haul.” Khang, who is Korean-American, pontificates on the dangers of continuing in a religious culture that believes “unity means conformity and assimilation” and asserts that, since everyone is a child of God, everyone should recognize the humanity in others. This nuanced but narrow book will appeal to Christian readers looking for ways to unify the church through community and acceptance. (July)