AFRO 134/REL 134: Race, Religion and Resistance
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Champaign, IL), 2020
Religion has been a medium for the propagation of invented racial ideologies designed to exclude those outside dominant cultures. It is also true, however, that religion has been a source and method through which groups have imagined liberating concepts of race as modes of rejecting dehumanization. This course considers religion acts of resistance aimed to jettison and reject racial categories tethered to cultural productions intended to undermine the human. Commencing with a review of critical race theory, participants in this course will survey religious thinkers such as Frederick Douglass, Jarena Lee, Maria Stewart, and Martin Luther King, and movements such as Hebrew-Israelite organizations, as well as Muslim American and Jewish experiences, toward the goal of understanding how they respond religiously to the problem of race, imaginatively and as performance. Our overarching objective in the course will be to tease out how religion is employed as a vehicle of resistance against the absurdity of racism and other forms of social violence.