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Theological Basis of Ecclesial Anti-Racist Witness

Dwight N. Hopkins

Despite the efforts of the contemporary civil rights movement, churches in the US continue to be largely segregated, marked by the symbolic “fall” of racism and white supremacy. Yet these are social constructs produced by humans, not created by God. Therefore, they can be changed by human beings. Theology and ethics offer many resources for such transformation. The Incarnation of Jesus Christ indicates that God has not left “the little ones” on earth by themselves. The more racism is dismantled and white supremacy overcome, the more closely all humankind will approach the destiny desired by God. Christ’s spirit, ushering in a New Self and a New Common Wealth, transforms individuals and social structures, bringing new freedom to serve common interests and remov ing barriers to full personhood. In the meantime, progressive-minded people can carry out anti-racism efforts in developing the church’s theological witness to racial justice, and in changing organizational and systemic structures and processes.

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