A journal of academic theology

Strange Fruit: Black Suffering/White Revelation

Christian eschatology provides a compelling mystical-political framework both for unmasking the historical visage of racism and for calling White believers to conversion and racial solidarity. Juxtaposing the memoria passionis of the Black community with Vatican II’s mysticism of communion with the dead, the author asks what it would mean for White Christians to place themselves under the judgment and mercy of the Black “cloud of witnesses.” The author proposes three moments in the complex dynamic of conversion in Whites, a life-long process in which Blacks, both the living and the dead, must hold some degree of agency. The essay concludes with a meditation on purgatory.

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