Critical Race Theory (CRT): If you’re on social media, you’ve probably heard the phrase thrown around. Some people claim that critical race theory is a grave threat to the gospel. But what in the world IS critical race theory, anyway? This is the first part of a 4-part mini-series on Critical Race Theory with scholar Dr. Nathan Cartagena.
In this first episode, Dr. Cartagena helps us understand what we’re actually talking about. In Parts 2 and 3, Dr. Cartagena will give us a brief history of white supremacy in the United States (using lots of original sources), and part 4 will be an episode on why this all matters for the church. Buckle up, because this is a master class on critical race theory.
Dr. Cartagena is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Wheaton College (IL), where he teach courses on race, justice, and political philosophy. He also serves as the faculty advisor for Unidad Cristiana, a student group working to enhance Christian unity and celebrate Latina/o cultures. Connect with Dr. Cartagena at his website or on Twitter.
More info on critical race theory:
- Sojo article: Why Nathan Cartagena Teaches Critical Race Theory to Evangelicals
- What is Critical Race Theory? by Nathan Cartagena Part 1
- What is Critical Race Theory? by Nathan Cartagena Part 2
- What is Critical Race Theory? by Nathan Cartagena Part 3
- What is Critical Race Theory? by Nathan Cartagena Part 4
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This has been so helpful – I’m in several ongoing, rather heated discussions surrounding CRT. I’ve been simply reacting to the racism presented by the friends who think CRT is anti-Christian, without knowing what the movement actually is. Also, I’ve read articles that its Marxist – which sounded crazy. So glad to have this unraveled. Thank you!
Mallory Ruark says
We’re so glad to hear that, Katie! Prayers for you as you continue to engage in difficult conversations.
I’ve been looking for a thoughtful, scholarly CRT 101 from a real expert, and, now I’ve found it. Thank you.
– Professor of Rhetoric and Lit, San Antonio, TX
Julian Bailey says
I’ve been listening to this series with great interest on the whole I’m finding it quite helpful but I have some reservations. I am Roman Catholic and it was eye opening to hear about the Pope’s starting the trend towards racism. However, that was only one Pope. Some of the other Pope’s have said otherwise. Perhaps it would be useful to hear from an authority from the Roman Catholic Church on this aspect? Secondly, I think the issue regarding Rudyard Kipling is complex. It would be easy to label him as racist but I don’t think things were as binary as that. Thirdly, and this is just a thought that maybe could be drawn out – I wonder how much of the things that happened were actually a result of cultures coming up against Capitalism and so the debate may perhaps be more about Capitalism than race? I am not against race theory per se but I worry that part of the issue that it raises is that it closes down the capacity for critical engagement (and yes I know this kind of statement is used by some to try to shut down the debate altogether).
Ben Sternke says
Hi Julian, thanks for your engagement with this series. Some of the difficulty of this conversation is the different ways the term “racism” is used. I do think you’re onto something in thinking about capitalism, but I’d say that it’s not that it is “more” about capitalism than race, but that the they are in fact intertwined. It seems to me (in the reading I’ve done on this, at least) that the imagination that funds capitalism is the same imagination that invented the concept of race to justify the exploitation of land and peoples in service to capitalism. In other words, nobody thought about “race” as a category for humans until the last few hundred years, where it was intentionally created to justify exploitation.
Great stuff. Although Puerto Rico is not the oldest colony in the world. Just off the top of my head Tibet has been colonized for around 800+ years now.