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RELI 143. Religion, Race, Justice in US. 4 Units.

Throughout American history, religion has played a pivotal role in discussions of race, both in justifications for slavery and racial discrimination and in movements for social justice. In the 19th century, white supremacists argued that a passage in Genesis about Noah and his sons preordained the enslavement of Black people. During the Civil Rights movement, the Black church played a central role and Martin Luther King quoted extensively from the Bible in speeches such as his “I Have a Dream speech.” Other Black civil rights advocates argued that the connection between racism and Christianity ran so deep that true liberation could not be found in the Christian church. This course will examine the intersection of religion and race. We will look at race and ethnicity in the Bible and early biblical interpretation and then turn to the American experience. The course will address multiple religious traditions, although it will concentrate primarily on Christianity. We will look at both history and pressing contemporary issues. (DVSY, ETHC, GE1B)