Race: Critical Thinking and Transformative Possibilities

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This chapter describes the origin of racial categories, and then analyzes ways in which they shape minds and behaviors. Then, it encourages Christians to take Paul's admonition to heart, to become critical thinkers and transform the citizens of the world. An overview of the history of racial ideologies and of social formations based on such ideologies is given. The chapter also suggests that race, as biological construct, is simply invalid and must be deconstructed. "Race" emerged as a folk category, was codified in science, and then became a fundamental part of the American worldview. Racial categories add to the lack of unity among all of humanity, and among Christians as well. It is stated that Christians should strive to improve the way of life and the vision for social change.


Originally published as:

Paris, Jenell. “Race: Critical Thinking and Transformative Possibilities,” in This Side of Heaven, Robert J. Priest and Al Nieves, eds., 19-32 (New York: Oxford University Press, 2006).

ISBN: 9780195310566