Where Did White Jesus Come From

How an iconic painting of Jesus as a white man was distributed around the world

After being printed a billion times, the image came to define what the major figure of Christianity looked like for generations of Christians in the United States – and elsewhere. According to Carr, the director of ministry and administrative support staff of the First Baptist Church of Glenarden in Maryland, Sallman’s Jesus “expressed the image of God” for many years before his death. When she grew up and began to study the Bible on her own, she began to have questions about that artwork and the message it was sending out to the world around her.

Not for the first time, Sallman’s portrayal of Jesus and the influence it has had on not only theology but also the wider culture have been called into question.

Beginnings are modest.

As William Grimes of the New York Times put it in 1994, “Sallman was a Christian painter and illustrator whose most iconic work, ‘Head of Christ,’ attained a worldwide notoriety that makes Warhol’s soup look delightfully esoteric.” Sallman died in 1968.

Sallman, a Chicago-based commercial artist who grew up in the church that is now known as the Evangelical Covenant Church, was a member of the denomination that is now known as the Evangelical Covenant Church.

His strategy was successful.

A replica of the original “Head of Christ” was painted by Sallman for the school, but the original “Head of Christ” was sold to the religious publisher Kriebel & Bates, and so was born what Lipan refers to as a “Protestant icon.” According to Matthew Anderson, associate professor of religious studies at Concordia University in Montreal, “this specific picture of Jesus coincided with the start of the ‘Mad Men,’ of the marketing agency.” With little time, the picture traveled swiftly, being printed on prayer cards and distributed by a variety of groups, missionaries, and churches of all denominations: Catholic and Protestant; evangelical; mainline; white; and black.

  • During World War II, copies of the Bible were distributed to soldiers by the Salvation Army and the YMCA through the United Service Organizations (USO).
  • A variety of products with the picture were sold to the public including pencils, bookmarks, lamps and clocks.
  • What the scholar David Morgan has described as a “picture of Jesus” came to pass as a result.
  • Historically, according to Anderson, it has been usual for individuals to represent Jesus as a member of their own culture or ethnic group.
  • Some of the earliest depictions of Jesus showed him to have “extremely dark complexion, maybe African origin,” according to him.
  • The Chicagoan had been influenced by a long heritage of European painters, the most renowned of whom was the Frenchman Leon-Augustin Lhermitte, who had lived in the city for many years.
  • “It’s impossible to overlook a very Nordic Jesus,” he asserted.

It was during the civil rights struggle that Sallman’s picture of a Scandinavian savior came under fire for perpetuating the idea of a white Jesus in the minds of subsequent generations of Americans.

This week, the activist Shaun King called for the removal of sculptures representing Jesus as a European, as well as Confederate monuments, since the representation is a “form of white supremacy,” according to the activist.

she said on Twitter.

Nnedi Okorafor, PhD (@Nnedi) is a social media influencer.

Anthea Butler, an associate professor of religious studies and Africana studies at the University of Pennsylvania, has also expressed concern about the negative impact of images of a white Jesus on the African-American community and other communities.

According to her, Jesus looked “like the folks who were beating you up in the streets or setting dogs on you.” she added.

“If Jesus is white and God is white,” she asserted, “then authority must also be white,” she continued.

Blum, co-author of the 2014 book “The Color of Christ: The Son of God and the Saga of Race in America,” have shown reluctance to abandon the picture of Jesus as being white.

Using solely white to represent Jesus, according to Tisby, has religious ramifications.

To say that Jesus is black, or, more broadly, to say that Jesus is not white, is to say that Jesus identifies with the oppressed and that God is not alien to the experience of marginalized people, but rather that God is on the side of those who, in Matthew 25, Jesus refers to as ‘the least of these,'” he explained.

  1. Almost a decade after Sallman painted his “Head of Christ,” the Korean artist Kim Ki-chang developed a picture cycle depicting the life of Christ in traditional Korean clothes and surroundings, with figures from Korean folk religion as supporting characters.
  2. Blum expressed himself.
  3. “This one appears to be simple to give up.” More recently, Sofia Minson, a New Zealand artist of Ngti Porou Mori, English, Swedish, and Irish background, recreated Sallman’s Jesus as an indigenous Mori man with a customary facial tattoo.
  4. Furthermore, there are various popular representations of Jesus who is African-American.
  5. McKenzie’s design was picked as the winner since it was based on a black woman.
  6. Carr says she is attempting to avoid pigeonholing Jesus into a single picture these days.

According to her, “It’s not so much the painting as it’s my query about who Jesus is.” “It’s more accurately a representation of the person who I view across the aisle as representing a different Jesus.”

The Surprising Story Of How Jesus Became A White Guy

It is in the public domain. Carl Heinrich Bloch’s painting of a white Jesus Christ, painted in the nineteenth century, is on display. For over 2,000 years, the person of Jesus Christ has been a source of respect and worship. Christ is revered as the major figure in Christianity, and representations of him adorn the walls of churches, houses, and museums across the globe. But why does Jesus appear to be white in the majority of these depictions? Throughout western Europe, as Jesus’ followers extended out of the Middle East, sometimes by committed missionary labor, sometimes through more violent ways, people began to fashion Jesus into their own image.

Although researchers have a better understanding of what people looked like in the Middle East during this time period, they do not believe they were light-skinned in the first century.


Early Depictions Of Jesus

Although the Bible recounts the life of Jesus Christ — whose given name was Yeshua — it has little information regarding his physical appearance. The prophet Isaiah characterizes Jesus as possessing “neither beauty nor grandeur,” according to the Old Testament. The Book of Psalms, on the other hand, explicitly contradicts this, describing Jesus as “fairer than the sons of mankind.” Several other descriptions of Jesus Christ in the Bible provide only a few further hints. As recounted in the Book of Revelation, Jesus’ hair is described as being “white wool,” his eyes as “flames of fire,” and his feet as being “burnished bronze, purified as if in a furnace.

  • Unsurprisingly, considering the persecution of early Christians, one of the first recorded images of Jesus Christ is a mocking of the historical figure of Jesus Christ.
  • The inscription says, “Alexandro bowing down before his deity.” It is in the public domain.
  • Illustrations of Jesus Christ with a more favorable connotation have been found dating back to the third century.
  • the good shepherd lays down his life for the flock,” numerous early images of him with a lamb have appeared.
  • It is noteworthy that he does not have a beard in this portrait.
  • It is in the public domain.

And when Christianity began to spread throughout Europe, pictures like this one began to emerge on walls all throughout the continent.

Depictions Of Jesus’ Race Under The Romans

However, even though early Christians worshipped in secrecy, passing along illicit images such as the ichthys to convey their religion, Christianity began to achieve widespread acceptance in the fourth century. After that, the Roman emperor Constantine turned to Christianity, and representations of Jesus Christ began to appear in more places than ever before in history. It is in the public domain. A representation of Jesus Christ found in a catacomb near Constantine’s Roman home, dating from the fourth century.

  1. Jesus has a halo, he’s in the top-center of the composition, his fingers are clasped together in a benediction, and he’s definitely from the European continent.
  2. A significant feature of Jesus’ appearance is that he possesses the wavy, flowing hair and beard that may be found in many contemporary portrayals.
  3. The reason for this is that white Christians were spreading vigorously around the globe, invading and converting as they went, bringing with them visions of a white Jesus.
  4. When it came to colonizers, white Jesus had a dual role.
  5. His race had a role in the establishment of caste systems in South America as well as the repression of indigenous people in North America.

The Modern Look Of The White Jesus

As the ages passed, representations of Jesus in white grew increasingly common in popular culture. Because early artists wished for their viewers to identify Jesus — and because they dreaded being accused of heresy — identical pictures of Jesus Christ were repeated over the course of history. In 1940, the concept of a white Jesus received a significant boost from American artist Warner E. Sallman, who depicted Jesus Christ as having white complexion, blonde hair, and blue eyes in a series of paintings.

  • Twitter The Head of Christ by Warner E.
  • For example, according to New York Timesjournalist William Grimes, his ” Head of Christ” has gained widespread recognition, “making Warhol’s soup appear positively esoteric by comparison.
  • While frescoes may have fallen out of favor, modern-day depictions of Jesus may be seen in films and television shows, among other places.
  • Jeffrey Hunter (King of Kings), Ted Neeley (Jesus Christ Superstar), and Jim Caviezel (The Passion of the Christ) were all white actors who appeared in the films mentioned.
  • In fact, even Haaz Sleiman, a Lebanese actor who starred as Jesus Christ in National Geographic’s “Killing Jesus,” has pale skin color.

Some activists have called for an end to the association between white Jesus and white supremacy, with one stating that “the Jesus you saw in all the black Baptist churches was the same as those who were beating you up in the streets or setting dogs on you.” Others have called for an end to the association between white Jesus and white supremacy.

Various artists, like Korean artist Kim Ki-chang, have painted Jesus Christ in traditional Korean garb, while others, such as Robert Lentz, have shown Jesus as a Black man.

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Their portrayals of Jesus Christ as a person of race are a little more accurate than the historical record.

Despite the fact that it is almost inevitable that pictures of Jesus in white will continue to exist, many people are receptive to fresh representations of the Savior.

It is, without a doubt, a text that leaves lots of opportunity for interpretation. Consider looking into the myth of a white Jesus, learning about the tomb of Jesus, and learning about the actual tale of who authored the Bible after that.

Jesus was not white. Here’s why we should stop pretending he was.

Photos courtesy of Unsplash; collage courtesy of Angelo Jesus Canta Recently, many people have asked me what I think about the (valid) criticisms leveled towards White Jesus portrayals, such as the iconic painting “Head of Christ” by Warner Sallman, which has garnered worldwide attention. The first thing to point out is that Jesus did not appear in that manner. We don’t know what Jesus looked like since the Gospels don’t mention it, but we do know that he wasn’t of European descent. After all, he is referred to as “Jesus of Nazareth,” which indicates that he was born in Nazareth, a little village in Galilee with a population of 200-400 people.

  • The (valid) criticisms of the prevalence of White Jesus portrayals, such as the iconic painting “Head of Christ” by Warner Sallman, have prompted several inquiries from people in the last few days regarding my thoughts on the subject.
  • Martin, SJ (@JamesMartinSJ) on Twitter: The date is June 25, 2020.
  • John Meier, author of the seminal series of books, A Marginal Jew, on the genuine Jesus, if we were to encounter Jesus today, we may be surprised, given the European pictures we’re used to seeing of him.
  • There are two Mahers in the shot; they are two of my Galilee friends, two cousins, both named Maher.
  • They’re also both really kind people, which makes it easy to consider them as representations of Jesus.
  • As a result, I believe that today’s Jesus should be depicted more accurately to how he (probably) appeared, which is why I source photos for my Daily Gospel tweets from creative sites such as ” Lumo,” which depict Jesus in a manner that is more accurate to how he (again, probably) appeared.
  • And in many portrayals of Jesus, particularly in stained glass, he is not only white, but the purest white possible—whiter than anybody else on the planet!

And that has the most devastating consequences for those who do not appear to be like that.

So, what does the fact that Jesus is white and you are not say about your connection with him say about you?

The representations of the saints are frequently equally as awful as the secular representations.

Augustine, who was born in North Africa and came to Europe as a young man.

For Mary, we witness the same pattern repeating over and over again.

Which is, to put it bluntly, incorrect.

A poor Galilean lady, to put it mildly.

When I recommended that Jesus and Mary be painted as black people, he immediately expressed skepticism.

pic.twitter.com/Xyk8QC9DK5 J.

I was eventually gifted with wonderful pictures of Jesus and Mary dressed as Ethiopians.

White Jesus, on the other hand, was what he had been taught by white priests.

What was the appearance of that?

(I’ll leave aside the question of what his glorified body looked like after the Resurrection, but the fact remains that it was him.) Consequently, it is critical to recall where Jesus of Nazareth originated from, what people from that region look like now, and what they (presumably) looked like in the first century.

  • Neither were Mary or the apostles, for that matter.
  • pic.twitter.com/tCQpx0Baba • James Martin, SJ (@JamesMartinSJ) on Twitter on June 25, 2020 But here’s what I have to say: Every culture must have images of Jesus that are inculturated into it.
  • That is why I enjoy seeing images of Jesus from all cultures and in a variety of colors.
  • Alternatively, there is Janet McKenzie’s well-known ” Jesus of the People.” Alternatively, one of my favorite images, theCrucifixion scene at Hekima College in Nairobi, Kenya, by Englebert Mveng, S.J., before which I have prayed numerous times, is shown below.
  • No, not if it means destroying images.
  • As a substitute, we should promote images of Jesus that have been assimilated into the cultures in which he now exists.
  • I was eventually gifted with wonderful pictures of Jesus and Mary dressed as Ethiopians.

White Jesus, on the other hand, was what he had been taught by (surprise, surprise) white priests.

Because Jesus is most often found in people who are outside of your normal social circle.

But even more important than the pictorial images of Jesus that we use (which are important, to be sure) is the ability to recognize Christalive in each and every individual.

Christ has taken up residence in them.

But, perhaps more importantly, increased efforts to discover Christ in each and every person.

As Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J.

is a Jesuit priest. America’s editor-in-chief, the Rev. James Martin, S.J., is a Jesuit priest, author, and editor at large.

Where Did the Popular Image of Jesus Come From?

It is the face that is recognized all over the world. Despite the fact that it may occur in a variety of skin tones, the general traits remain consistent: long hair, a beard, and a slim and melancholy face. This face is shown in paintings, sculptures, crucifixes, and films, among other mediums. It is the visage that everyone instinctively recognizes as that of Jesus Christ. According to our article “What Did and Didn’t Jesus Look Like? “, however, this is not the case. The Bible provides relatively little information regarding Jesus’ physical appearance.

The following are examples of common variances in the representation of Jesus and what He might have looked like in real life:

  • It is more likely that Jesus would have had short hair than than long hair. If He had a darker complexion instead of pale skin, he would have been more attractive. His macho and robust appearance would have been preferred over his weak and frail one.

Where did the popular representation of Jesus originate from, therefore, if it was not taken from the Scriptures themselves? Why do painters, sculptors, and film makers depict Jesus with these characteristics again and over again? You might be surprised by what history reveals!

Did the early Christian Church have images of Jesus?

The persons who were closest to Jesus did not record any creative depictions of His physical appearance. This wasn’t merely a clerical error due to the fact that they were overloaded. It is clear that the New Testament has taken great care in chronicling the most important aspects concerning Jesus’ life—but, interestingly, there are few specifics regarding His look in the text. There is no artistic representation of Him drawn by one of His contemporaries that we can discover. What is the reason that there are no paintings or sketches of Jesus that date back to His time period?

  1. In fact, He will rise up before Him like a fragile plant, and like a root emerging from dry ground.
  2. In the New King James Version (NKJV) of the Holy Bible (The Holy Bible, New King James Version 1982 by Thomas Nelson”>Isaiah 53:2), He wasn’t just any ordinary man—He was God shown in the flesh (1 John 4:14).
  3. 14 Furthermore, we saw His glory, the glory as befitting the only born Son of God who was full of grace and truth, as He came to dwell among us.
  4. “My Lord and my God!” Thomas said as he responded to the Lord.
  5. Because they had diligently kept the Ten Commandments, they applied the Second Commandment to Jesus, which was a violation of the law.
  6. Please see our article “The Second Commandment: You Shall Not Carve a Carved Image” for additional information on God’s ban against idols and icons.
  7. Acts 17:29, New King James Version (NKJV)The Holy Bible, New King James Version 1982 by Thomas Nelson”>The Holy Bible, New King James Version”>Acts 17:29).

As Paul put it, attempts to represent God through pictures were confined to “days of ignorance” (30).

Verse 30 of the New King James Version (NKJV)The Holy Bible, New King James Version 1982 by Thomas Nelson”>The Holy Bible, New King James Version Paul was attempting to resist idolatry, which was a significant feature of the Greco-Roman civilization in which he lived.

Images were placed in every home to receive adoration; libations were poured out to the gods at every festival; and images were worshiped at every municipal or provincial ritual in which they were present.


19, No.

29; ” Popular Belief and the Image of the Beardless Christ,” Visual Resources, Vol.

19, No. 1, p. 29). It is apparent from scriptural and historical evidence that the early Church did not have any representations of Jesus on its walls. So, how did pictures and symbols make their way into the mainstream of Christian belief and practice?

How images of Jesus crept into Christianity

Following the completion of the New Testament period, a number of significant shifts occurred in Christian thought. Despite the fact that a small number of true Christians continued to exist after the death of the original apostles, most of Christianity gradually began to change into a religion that showed little resemblance to the Church portrayed in the book of Acts. More information about the evolution of Christianity may be found in our article “Was Christianity Designed to Evolve?” The oldest depictions of Jesus that have been discovered have been dated to between A.D.

  • 256, according to archaeological evidence.
  • Instead of attempting to depict Christ in his natural form, these early pictures used symbols to represent Him.
  • Throughout these depictions, He is depicted as a young man who is physically healthy and without a beard.
  • When it comes to definitively recognizing these pictures as Christ, historians have a challenge due to their resemblance to Greco-Roman pagan art, which employed the figure of the shepherd as a symbol of charity (André Grabar’s Origins of Christian Iconography, pp.
  • We will observe that borrowing from pagan art is a recurrent motif among many of the well-known symbols of Christianity, as we shall see below.
  • In his book The Conversion of Constantine, historian Paul Johnson writes that “all of the boundaries were broken down when Constantine was converted” (A History of Christianity,pp.
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In other words, there had previously been opposition to artistic representations of Jesus; nevertheless, once Constantine adopted Christianity and began rebuilding it in the Roman image, the Greco-Roman practices of worshipping deities through statues and pictures were assimilated into Christian beliefs.

People began to prostrate themselves before them, and many of the more gullible began to worship them as they did.


However, the artwork associated with this newly emergent kind of Christianity did not appear out of nowhere. These pictures were derived from pagan imagery and practices that existed previously.

Where did this face of Jesus image come from?

From about the year 400, representations of Jesus began to appear all over the place: in churches, catacombs, and even on the priests’ garments. Because the painters were unaware of Jesus’ actual physical appearance, they created their own representations of him that have influenced art for hundreds of years. It was artists who blended the most conspicuous qualities of divinity from the Greco-Roman culture into an image of an approximately 30-year-old man, thereby creating the image that is now known as Jesus: the slim, pale, bearded, long-haired Jesus of modern times.

  1. Instead of a skinny man with a beard, early art presents Him as a youthful, physically fit guy with long hair who is clean-shaven, albeit a little effeminate, and who has a beard.
  2. They chose to show Christ in this manner because the male gods of the Greco-Roman pantheon were usually typically depicted with long hair in ancient Greek and Roman art.
  3. By letting his hair down, Christ assumed an atmosphere of divinity that distinguished him from the disciples and passersby who were shown alongside him (Thomas Mathews,The Clash of Gods,1993, pp.
  4. According to several historians, the first depictions of Jesus were directly based on the typical characteristics associated with the sun deity Apollo.
  5. Insofar as he copied the appearance of Apollo or Dionysus, he assumed something of their feminine aspect as well” (ibid., pp.

“His clean-shaven face is more reminiscent of portrayals of Apollo or the youthful Dionysus, Mithras, and other semi-divines or human heroes such as Orpheus, Meleager, and even Hercules.” In addition, the heavenly traits most associated with personal savior deities are brought to mind by a young visage” (Robin Jensen,Understanding Early Christian Art, 2000,p.

  1. It is demonstrated in the Vatican necropolis, where Jesus is represented as a version of Apollo/Helios.
  2. 120).
  3. This group of painters looked to the more powerful and authoritative gods in the Roman pantheon for inspiration, such as Jupiter (the Roman counterpart of Zeus), Neptune, and Serapis, for their inspiration.
  4. These attributes of Jesus have made their way into creative representations of him.
  5. 283).
  6. The presence of a mature and bearded person may be intended to show Jesus’ authority over the cosmos.
  7. 119-120).
  8. ” The image of Jesus became more bearded, aged, and powerful at that point” (Graydon F.
  9. 298).

Warnings about idolatry in the Bible

The biblical subject of God’s abhorrence for heathen idolatry is a recurring one. God specifically forbade His people from creating pictures of Him (or any other invented god) or from using such images in religious ceremonies. God was enraged with Israel because they attempted to worship Him through the creation of an image of a golden calf in the wilderness (Exodus 32; 1 Corinthians 10:7). Old Testament Israel was exiled because they practiced idolatry (15 And they rejected His statutes and His covenant that He had made with their fathers, as well as His testimonies that He had testified against them; they followed idols, became idolaters, and followed the nations that were all around them, concerning whom the Lord had charged them that they should not do as they did).

17 As a result, they forced their sons and daughters to walk through the fire, engaged in witchcraft and soothsaying, and sold themselves to do wrong in the eyes of the Lord in order to provoke Him to rage against them.

The Holy Bible, New King James Version (NKJV) was published in 1982 by Thomas Nelson and is known as the “New King James Version.” 2 Kings 17:15-18;4 2 Kings 17:15-18 “They installed kings, but I did not recognize them; they appointed princes, but I did not recognize them.” They fashioned idols for themselves out of their silver and gold, so that they would not be cut off.

  • Many warnings to “flee from idolatry” (14:1) may be found throughout the New Testament.
  • NKJVThe Holy Bible, New King James Version 1982 by Thomas Nelson”>1 Corinthians 10:14), as well as to “protect yourselves from idolatry” (21 Corinthians 10:14).
  • Amen.
  • New King James Version (NKJV)The Holy Bible, New King James Version 1982 by Thomas Nelson”>1 John 5:21).
  • Would a God who inspired these ideas wish to be worshipped and conceived via pictures that were derived from pagan idolatry and religious imagery?
  • Could it be possible that the God who professes Himself to be “the same yesterday, today, and forever” (8:18) Jesus Christ is the same today as he was yesterday and will be forever.

The New King James Version (NKJV)The Holy Bible, New King James Version 1982 by Thomas Nelson”>Hebrews 13:8) The case will be made that the present use of imagery in Christian worship is not idolatry, but rather imagery to assist the human mind in focusing on and imagining the genuine spiritual God who is behind the imagery.

The majority of pagans thought that the representations represented genuine spiritual entities.

The Greeks who worshipped images of Zeus did not think that statues of Zeus were literal representations of Zeus; rather, they thought that Zeus was a true deity who resided on Mount Olympus and could be seen there. The statue was only a tool, or a depiction of Zeus, in the hands of the gods.

Develop a biblically accurate image of Jesus

When we attempt to depict God through a physical picture, we lose sight of the whole scope of His majesty and grandeur, which can never be portrayed in stone or on paint, and which must be experienced in person. As opposed to looking at Him through the lens that He provides us in His Word, we look at Him through the lens of our own human imagination. He is in a way transformed into our likeness. More than that, the portrayals of Jesus are based on false gods from ancient paganism, which makes them inaccurate representations of who He really looked like.

Jesus Christ gave a profound comment that was recorded in the year 23.

24 Those who worship God must worship in spirit and truth, for God is spirit, and those who adore Him must worship in spirit and truth.” The Holy Bible, New King James Version (NKJV) was published in 1982 by Thomas Nelson and is known as the New King James Version (NKJV).

a little about the author

Erik Jones

A full-time writer and editor at the Life, Hope, and Truth offices in McKinney, Texas, Erik Jones is a member of the Life, Hope, and Truth team. More information can be found at Read on for more information.

Was Jesus Black Or White? How One Church Leader Just Changed The Debate

Was Jesus of Nazareth, one of the most important characters in human history, a member of a race other than the Jewish race? There is no way to know for certain, but recent statements made by the leader of the Church of England indicate that it is past time to reconsider whether or not Jesus should be shown as a white male. When asked about the way the western church presents Jesus’ race in an interview with BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby responded affirmatively.

“Of course it does,” Welby responded, stressing that Jesus was already depicted in a variety of ways other than as a white guy in various areas around the Anglican church.

As many different representations of Jesus as there are cultures, languages, and understandings, you will see a Fijian Jesus.” This comes at a time when a national discussion over institutional racism is raging in both the United States and the United Kingdom, with questions of race and class taking center stage.

Getty Images’ image of Jesus Jesus’s color and ethnicity have long been a source of contention — since the beginning of the spread of Christianity, the manner in which the faith’s primary figure has been depicted has been a source of both historical and aesthetic conflict.

“Jesus of Nazareth likely had a darker complexion than we imagine, similar to the olive skin common among Middle Easterners today,” wrote social psychologist and theologian Christena Cleveland in Christianity Today in 2016.

The Eurocentric image of Jesus, according to many opponents, has been utilized to propagate white supremacy and reinforce racist tropes that deify whiteness while denigrating Black people.

Recent days have seen a deterioration of the dispute about the race of Jesus, with political activist Shaun King igniting controversy when he tweeted on Monday that “the monuments of the white European they believe is Jesus should also come down.” “They are a manifestation of white supremacy,” he asserted.

It’s true that King expressed himself in a much more nuanced manner regarding the image of Jesus in other places, but it was his early Tweets that grabbed the public’s attention and turned the discussion into a political tempest.

Perhaps, by engaging the discourse concerning Jesus’ race, the Archbishop of Canterbury recognizes that the subject should be explored through the lens of religion rather than politics, and that delicacy rather than flame-throwing should be demanded.

In actuality, even the world’s most brilliant minds will never be able to determine whether Jesus was of African or European descent.

by starting a conversation about how the representation of Jesus can be more inclusive to those seeking faith and fortitude, the Archbishop of Canterbury is expressing his hope that the conversation about Jesus can shift from a fight about what should be torn down to more of a discussion about what can be constructed.

In such case, it would be worthwhile to place confidence in Jesus, regardless of his physical appearance.

Peter Lang Verlag – White Jesus

Loading. The Architecture of Racism in Religion and EducationbyAlexander Jun (Author) and Tabatha L. Jones (Co-Authors). Allison N. Ash is the author, and Christopher S. Collins is the author of the text book. Textbookxxxvii,120 pages. Jolivet, Allison N. Ash, and Christopher S. Collins

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White Jesus is conceived as a socially constructed apparatus—a mythology that animates the architecture of salvation—that operates stealthily as a veneer for patriarchal White supremacist, capitalist, and imperialist sociopolitical, cultural, and economic agendas. In White Jesus: The Architecture of Racism in Religion and Education, White Jesus is conceived as a socially constructed apparatus—a mythology that animates the architecture of salvation—that operates stealthily as a veneer for It took the combination of empire, colorism and racism to establish White Jesus; the result is a distortion that reproduces violence both in terms of epistemic and physical violence.

  1. It is important to distinguish between White Jesus and Jesus of the Gospels because Jesus of the Gospels is seen as the one whose life, death, and resurrection calls for self-sacrificial love in return—a love ethic—and White Jesus is not.
  2. This book is about recognizing the falsehoods, recovering the person of Jesus, and reasserting a vision of power that places the Jesus of the Gospels in connection with the easily disposed of the population.
  3. It is possible to apply White Jesus in a range of academic fields, including as educational studies, religious studies, sociology studies, and cultural studies.
  4. If you are looking for a book to use in your educational institution or religious group that is devoted to merging justice and diversity initiatives with a Jesus ethic, White Jesus is an excellent resource.


  • Cover, title, copyright, information about the author(s)/editor(s), and information about the book Preliminary Applause for White Jesus
  • This eBook may be referenced
  • Section I: Table of Contents
  • Figures are listed in alphabetical order. Foreword
  • Tabatha L. Jones is a woman who lives in the United States. Jolivet
  • Locating Ourselves
  • Alexander Jun
  • Allison N. Ash
  • Christopher S. Collins
  • White Jesus
  • About the Cover
  • Notes
  • 1. The White Architecture of Salvation
  • Introduction to the White Architecture of Salvation
  • The White Architecture of Salvation
  • Black Jesus
  • Chapter 1. Notes
  • Chapter 2: White Civil Religion, Empire, and Dominance
  • Introduction to Myths and Empire
  • Chapter 3: White Civil Religion, Empire, and Dominance
  • Conclusion Bringing Christianity and government together
  • Notes
  • Chapter 3: How Christianity Became White
  • Introduction
  • Christianity and Whiteness, Reconstruction, and Concluding Thoughts on “Giving to the Emperor”
  • Concluding Thoughts on “Giving to the Emperor” (Giving to the Emperor)
  • Concluding Thoughts on “Giving to the Emperor.” Laws that discriminate against African-Americans
  • Segregation and the White Christian Mind
  • Segregation and the White Christian Mind Introduction
  • White Individualism
  • White Silence
  • Political Packaging and Marking
  • Conclusion
  • Chapter 4. White Saviors Proclaiming “Pagan” Adoption
  • Missionaries in Hawai’i
  • Indian Boarding Schools on the Continent
  • Chapter 5. White Saviors Proclaiming “Pagan” Adoption
  • Chapter 6. White Saviors Proclaiming “P Origins of White Christian Higher Education
  • White Christian Exodus
  • Racist Policies, Practices, and Climate
  • Racist Policies, Practices, and Climate Introduction
  • Decolonizing Music in Korea
  • Evangelical White Out
  • Roots and Fruits
  • A Way Forward
  • Chapter 7: White Worship. White Worship
  • Decolonizing Music in Korea Amazing Grace
  • The Musical Tradition of the Black Church
  • White Worship at Christian Colleges
  • Worship Normativity and Paradox
  • Prior to Jesus Becoming White
  • Reclaiming a Biblical Vision of Justice
  • Chapter 8 The Radical Vision of Jesus’ Open Table
  • The Radical Vision of Jesus’ Open Table In this edition: The Tower of Babel, Demons on the Other Side, Do You Love Me, A Way Forward
  • Afterword
  • Index

| ix FIGURES FIGURES FIGURES FIGURES FIGURES FIGURES FIGURES FIGURES FIGURES FIGURES FIGURES FIGURES FIGURES FIGURES FIGURES FIGURES FIGURES FIGURES FIGURES FIGURES FIGURES FIGURES Figure 1.1: Mural of Jesus Figure 1.2: Mural depicting “Knowledge Over Time” Figure 2.1: A church with an American flag draped over it American Progress (Fig. 5.1) courtesy of Gaston, John Figure A.1: A view of the mural, América Tropical, by David Alfaro Siqueiros, seen from a viewing platform. | xi xi xi xi xi xi We begin this journey by sharing our personal experiences.

  • Tabatha L.
  • As Ash Wednesday approaches, it is appropriate that I (Jones Jolivet) reflect on the formation of “White Jesus” and the development of racism, religion, and education.
  • Today also marks the one-year anniversary of President Donald J.
  • As we live in the age of Trumpism, I can sense the heaviness of death choking the oxygen we all breathe.

Scheon, a journalist, correctly observes that the message was “a speech full with promise—and promises.” And, based on the number of times President Trump said the phrase, he carried through on his promise to put the United States first.” “When someone reveals you who they are, believe them the first time,” says Dr.

  • When President Trump commands screaming crowds with phrases like “Make America great again,” I believe him because he is appealing to well-known kinds of tribalism and nationalism.
  • xi |
  • My usual tradition is to attend an Ash Wednesday mass, and this year I chose to attend a service in the evening that was near to my residence.
  • The parish was packed with individuals from a variety of different ethnic origins, which was a wonderful surprise to me.
  • The sermon conveyed a concise but deep message about the need of living what is most essential “now” and the necessity of doing so.
  • As we burn with our life and the world around us, White Jesus takes center stage and demanding attention.
  • I choke, both metaphorically and spiritually, like the miner’s canary3as a result of the toxic fumes that threaten to irrevocably damage my lungs and the environment that we all share with them.
  • Inevitably, the presence of White Jesus will be felt.
  • As the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.
  • Our saccharin-laden diet has brought us to this point.
  • We worship in a variety of religious organizations, but we all seek to exemplify the same Christian values, and we pursue professional careers in Christian schools and institutions (xii |

Our complicity “in the sinful entanglements” that have engineered not only the current sociopolitical terrain,5but also the nation’s founding and its most treasured institutions—including Christian colleges, universities, and churches—many of which are beholden to White Jesus, is something that we, as members of the Princeton Theological Seminary faculty, are willing to acknowledge and confess.

We have all become too accustomed to forgetting that “no institution or government can require the degree of commitment that can only be demanded by God.” We feel forced to situate ourselves in this debate by disclosing prominent features of our social group identities that impact how we “see” the world as we unravel and make sense of the architecture of salvation as it is expressed via racism, religion, and education.

  • I (Jones Jolivet) credit my forefathers and parents with providing me with a solid religious foundation in Christian doctrine and practice from a young age.
  • My paternal grandmother, Lola Jolivet, gave me a set of pale-pink rosary beads when I was a young child, and she would kneel with me while I prayed the “Lord’s Prayer” before going to bed.
  • I grew up in the southern cities of Houston and Austin, Texas, and came of age in the 1970s and 1980s, at a period when many of the important triumphs made during the contemporary civil rights struggle were still being discovered.
  • apartheid and racial domination, which has had contemporary expressions that are still active in subtle ways now.
  • Eighth generation Black Catholics 8 Members of Churches of Christ, like Catholics at the time, felt that they were the only Christians on the planet.
  • We adhered to the “five acts” of worship prescribed by Scripture, and we shared the “Plan of Salvation” with others, which had been “made clear” via Sunday school, Sunday morning and evening worship, Wednesday night Bible studies, pamphlets, and gospel meetings, among other venues.
  • in a Church of Christ, and only in a Church of Christ.

It was white domination that served as a constraint on our spiritual imagination and experience of God, as shown in our traditions, rituals, and biblical readings.

In my ten-year-old mind, after hearing Evans’ lecture, being saved sounded essential, and acknowledging that Jesus Christ was the son of God and getting baptized (“before Jesus returned”) was rational.

As soon as I heard the “invitation,” I leapt out of my seat and ran to the baptismal font, completely oblivious to the fact that I should first acquire my parents’ permission.

Those songs from the red book that we sung as part of our a cappella tradition have stayed with me to this day: “Just as I am without a plea, but that Thy blood was spilt for me.” And that thou hast commanded me to come to Thee.

Will you be willing to come to the fountain for free?

A fountain is available to anyone who wishes to use it.

Identifying as a Black woman from the southern United States, I manage what Patricia Hill Collins refers to as the interwoven structure of oppression, which is particularly prevalent inside academic institutions.

Having come from the inside out of academe, my critical religious testimony is rooted in the Black prophetic tradition, particularly intersectional Womanist thinking and praxis.

I am heterosexual, middle-class, physically able, legally documented, and well educated, to name a few characteristics.

In my professional life, I have worked in Christian colleges with a preponderance of white students. As a result, I am actively involved in a decolonization initiative of my own design. Alexander Jun is a Japanese actor who was born in Japan.


The ISBN for this book is 9781433157707 for the PDF version, 9781433157714 for the ePUB version, and 9781433157721 for the MOBI version. The ISBN for the softcover version is 9781433157691 and the ISBN for the hardcover version is 9781433157684. Publication date2018; languageEnglish; publication date2018 (October) Published in New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Oxford, and Wien in 2018. XXVI, 120 pages, 5 black and white illustrations.

Biographical notes

Tabatha L. Jones (Author)Alexander Jun (Author) Christopher S. Collins (Author)Alexander Jun is a professor of higher education at Azusa Pacific University, where he works with Allison N. Ash and Christopher S. Collins. While at the University of Southern California’s Rossier School of Education, he received his doctorate in educational administration. Tabatha L. Jones is a woman who lives in the United States. The Department of Higher Education at Azusa Pacific University is home to Jolivet, who is an assistant professor in the department.

Dean of Student Care and Graduate Student Life at Wheaton College, Allison N.

Azusa Pacific University awarded her a Ph.D.

In addition to being an associate professor of higher education at Azusa Pacific University, Chris Collins also holds a doctorate from the University of California, Los Angeles in higher education and organizational development.

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