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RaceA Theological Account$
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J. Kameron Carter

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195152791

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195152791.001.0001

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Interlude on Christology and Race

Interlude on Christology and Race

Gregory of Nyssa as Abolitionist Intellectual

Chapter:
(p.229) Interlude on Christology and Race
Source:
Race
Author(s):

J. Kameron Carter (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195152791.003.0010

Here this chapter engages Gregory of Nyssa's 4th‐century unequivocal stance against slavery in any form and the manumission of all slaves, an outlook unsurpassed by anyone in antiquity. The chapter draws on Gregory's thought, particularly his form of theological exegesis in which he reads scripture against rather than within the social order, to suggest how New World Afro‐Christianity at its inception does the same, and in so doing how it redirects modern racial discourse precisely by redirecting modern Christianity itself and the very meaning of Christian identity. Crucial to Gregory's abolitionism is the connection he sees between Christ's person and work (Christology) and his covenantal or nonracial, which is to say, his Jewish flesh. Gregory's thought is shown to offer critical resources for overcoming the Christian supersessionism or anti‐Jewishness that grounds modernity's racial imagination, which functions between whiteness, nonwhiteness, and the negative anchor of blackness.

Keywords:   Gregory of Nyssa, abolitionism, anti‐Jewish, supersessionism, racial imagination, identity, Christian identity, whiteness, blackness

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