Religion News Service has just published a new article by Kerry: “How white spirituality, religious or not, allows racism to grow.”
Kerry Connelly, MDiv student, recently celebrated the publication of her new book, Good White Racist?: Confronting Your Role in Racial Injustice. The book, published by Westminster John Knox, was released on March 17 of this year.
Connelly recalls falling in love with writing at a young age and credits her middle and high school English teachers for their encouragement and support. She has been blogging for nearly a decade – first at the Patheos blog JersyGirl, Jesus and then at her own site kerryconnelly.com – and published her first book, Pause: Making Time to Walk with God, in 2017.
About her new book, she explained, “I never set out to do work in racial justice.” However, as she began blogging about the unjust use of lethal force by police on black men and communities of color generally, she faced increasing resistance from some of her readers. “I was shocked at how visceral and angry white people got at a white person pointing out racial injustice,” she said, “[but] that reaction just made me want to write more. So I did, and the more I wrote, the more I learned. The more I learned, the angrier and more dedicated I became.”
Evident in the title, Connelly’s new book addresses what she calls the phenomenon of the “good white racist,” who she explains is “a white person who truly does hate the idea of racism but has been unwilling to do the work of unpacking their own inherent racist belief systems in order to become truly anti-racist. Because they are unwilling to confront the racism that has been embedded into their own psyches, they are also unable to confront the very real systemic racism that occurs in various institutions in our country.” In the book, Connelly works to unpack this idea and explores the many ways in which good white racists “waste so much time defending our own goodness and maintaining our own comfort levels that it disrupts and discourages the actual work that needs to be done.”
Connelly said that her experiences at CTS have profoundly informed her perspective on racial justice and shaped her faith. Grateful for being exposed to Liberation and Womanist theologies in class, she said that these perspectives have “shifted my paradigm significantly,” and the opportunity to learn in inclusive classrooms and build meaningful friendships with fellow students has been transformative. She recalled that what initially led her on the journey to write the book was a classroom assignment to listen to Krista Tippet’s interview with Ruby Sales. Connelly said, “I was so struck by Ruby’s generosity when she asked, ‘Where is the white theology that liberates white people?’ that I got stuck on that question. I started a podcast, and wrote a book, and I still don’t have the answer.”
Learn more about Connelly and check out her blog here.
Also included in the June 2020 Christian Theological Seminary Connection
- Prof. Courtney Buggs Finishes First Year as Visiting Assistant Professor of Homiletics - Rev. Dr. Courtney Buggs joined the CTS faculty in 2019 as Visiting Assistant Professor of Homiletics, having been awarded a prestigious Louisville Institute postdoctoral fellowship. Prof. Buggs has quickly become an integral part of the CTS community, bringing her wide-ranging experience and expertise to the life of the seminary. She begins the second of her […]
- Members of the CTS Community Join Processional for Racial Justice - President David M. Mellott noted in his recent “Letter to Congregations” that members of the CTS faculty, staff, alumni, and student body participated in a Processional for Racial Justice on May 31, 2020. In the letter, President Mellott explained, “As religious leaders and people of faith in the city and the region we gathered and […]
- CTS Honors its 2020 Graduates in Unexpected Ways - Like so many other schools, colleges, and seminaries, Christian Theological Seminary had to adjust its annual commencement ceremonies this year, but the administration, staff, and faculty worked hard to honor its 2020 graduates. Although pre-commencement events and the annual graduation reception were canceled, CTS marked the occasion by sending each of the graduates a party […]
- Kerry Connelly Publishes New Book about Racial Justice - Religion News Service has just published a new article by Kerry: “How white spirituality, religious or not, allows racism to grow.” Kerry Connelly, MDiv student, recently celebrated the publication of her new book, Good White Racist?: Confronting Your Role in Racial Injustice. The book, published by Westminster John Knox, was released on March 17 of […]
- Faith & Action Project Emergency Grant Recipients on WFYI’s “All IN” - In April, the CTS Faith & Action Project provided $75,000 in emergency relief grants to seven organizations whose work to reduce poverty in Indianapolis includes mental health services and family stability measures. Read more about this here. On May 18th, Lindsey Rabinowitch, Program Director of the Faith & Action Project, was joined on WFYI’s “All […]
- CTS Faculty Recommend Summer Reading - Summer often provides an opportunity to catch up on some backlogged reading. Since there are never too many recommendations, we checked in with several members of the CTS faculty to see what they are reading and what they have recently written. President David M. Mellott Recent/current reads: Ezra Klein, Why We’re Polarized (Simon & Schuster, […]
- Faith & Action Project June 2020 Newsletter - Read the newest edition of the Faith & Action Project’s monthly newsletter!
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