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Black Lives, Sacred Humanity, and the Racialization of Nature, or Why America Needs Religious Naturalism Today

Black Lives, Sacred Humanity, and the Racialization of Nature, or Why America Needs Religious... Black Lives, Sacred Humanity, and the Racialization of Nature, or Why America Needs Religious Naturalism Today1 Carol Wayne White / Bucknell University “Life must be something more than dilettante speculation. And religion (ought to be if it isn’t) a great deal more than mere gratification of the instinct for worship linked with the straight-teaching of irreproachable credos. Religion must be life made true, and life is action, growth, development—begun now and ending never.” —Anna Julia Cooper I. Antiblack Rhetoric and the Animal Other n September 2016, a first-year student at East Tennessee State University interrupted a Black Lives Matter protest on campus, parading in a gorilla mask. Clad in overalls and barefoot, the young man offered bananas to the protesting students, heckling them.2 When set within a wider historical context, this student’s actions evoke a legacy of intimidation in which perceived differences attributed to certain humans are symbolized in terms of animal otherness. This mechanism of targeting certain groups as different and designating them as the Other has often included linking them to animals or objects that require managing, cleansing, or elimination.3 Early examples include Nazi propaganda during the 1920s and ’30s, portraying Jewish citizens as rats or http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png American Journal of Theology & Philosophy University of Illinois Press

Black Lives, Sacred Humanity, and the Racialization of Nature, or Why America Needs Religious Naturalism Today

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Publisher
University of Illinois Press
Copyright
Copyright © University of Illinois Press
ISSN
2156-4795
Publisher site
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Abstract

Black Lives, Sacred Humanity, and the Racialization of Nature, or Why America Needs Religious Naturalism Today1 Carol Wayne White / Bucknell University “Life must be something more than dilettante speculation. And religion (ought to be if it isn’t) a great deal more than mere gratification of the instinct for worship linked with the straight-teaching of irreproachable credos. Religion must be life made true, and life is action, growth, development—begun now and ending never.” —Anna Julia Cooper I. Antiblack Rhetoric and the Animal Other n September 2016, a first-year student at East Tennessee State University interrupted a Black Lives Matter protest on campus, parading in a gorilla mask. Clad in overalls and barefoot, the young man offered bananas to the protesting students, heckling them.2 When set within a wider historical context, this student’s actions evoke a legacy of intimidation in which perceived differences attributed to certain humans are symbolized in terms of animal otherness. This mechanism of targeting certain groups as different and designating them as the Other has often included linking them to animals or objects that require managing, cleansing, or elimination.3 Early examples include Nazi propaganda during the 1920s and ’30s, portraying Jewish citizens as rats or

Journal

American Journal of Theology & PhilosophyUniversity of Illinois Press

Published: Oct 30, 2017

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