cover image Plantation Jesus: Race, Faith, and a New Way Forward

Plantation Jesus: Race, Faith, and a New Way Forward

Skot Welch, Rick Wilson, and Andi Cumbo-Floyd. Herald, $16.99 trade paper (196p) ISBN 978-1-5138-0330-2

In lively dialogues, Cumbo-Floyd (The Slaves Have Names) leads a conversation about ethnicity and race between Welch and Wilson, former hosts of Radio in Black and White. They confront the ways Christian churches continue to deny the legacy of racism in their midst. Dramatically illustrating the issues, they use the phrase “Plantation Jesus” for the figure that many Christians embrace as the foundation of their faith, a “false god who lives within systemic and institutional racism” and whom Christians use to justify oppression and bigotry through a Westernized, Anglo-centric interpretation of scripture. Many Christians, in the author’s estimation, also use this figure of Jesus to support and advance the notion of America as a Christian nation whose chief values are “faith, family, ancestry, and country” and “whitewash” historical depictions of Jesus. The authors draw deeply on the Bible to illustrate that, in contrast, “the real Jesus” is the one who suffers with his people and would not condone systems that perpetuate suffering; “the real Jesus sees the pain of our past, honors it, and travels with us as we heal it.” This provocative book will encourage conversations about one of American Christianity’s most challenging issues. [em](May) [/em]