The students in this year’s Symposium on Race and Religion had the occasion to speak with scholar J. Kameron Carter (Duke University, Divinity School) about his book “Race: A Theological Account” and their various research projects. The full SKYPE session is available on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R49E0shQjr8&feature=c4-overview&list=UUvo32hR0eJuuDv_ioKV8FJw.
Here is a lineup of students with a draft of their questions:
1) Marquis Bey: Because he is planning his research paper on the viability of a “Br’er Jesus”, he asked the question of how African American folklore works with African American religion? How does the folklore inform the theology? How might folklore work as a theological strategy (of resistance)?
2) Daniel Kimmel: Because he is currently at work on his senior seminar thesis that is examining the nature of religious language as a truly self-reflexive language, he asks Carter about his specific claim in the opening of his book about the way by which Christ “liberates language.” Specifically, he asked about what it was within the structure of ordinary language that lent itself towards domination, and how Christ’s recapitulation of language might “liberate” language?
3) Cristabelle Braden: Her question was interested at getting at whether an authentic biblical Christianity could be an antidote to modern racism–specifically, whether holding to the teachings of the disciples of the 1st century could be an answer to the race problem in Christian theology?
4) Megan English: Beginning with her reading of Martin Luther King, Jr., she has been troubled by the idea of redemptive suffering. She posed the possibility of distinguishing between “redemptive suffering” and “redeeming suffering.”
5) Miranda Milillo: Picking up on W. E. B. Du Bois’ notion of “double-consciousness,” she asked with that notion was still operative for African Americans today.
6) Becky Sausser: Invoking King’s famous quip that Sunday morning remains the most segregated hour in American public life, she asked whether this separation between the traditionally white and black churches in the United States is a productive separation.
7) Ashley Ferrari: She is pursuing a research project on Hispanic Liberation Theology. With the specificity of American Hispanics and African Americans in mind, she asked whether, or how, Christianity, or religion in general, could serve as a unifying force for a diversity of people.
8) Anna Quin: She asked about the use and misuse of the Bible in discussions of equality and justice.
9) Susanna Chehata: Drawing on James Cone’s book, “The Cross and the Lynching Tree,” she asked whether it was possible to truly understand Christianity without a real experience of social suffering.
10) Alyssa Nissley: She is interested in writing a paper on Black women in Christianity. Specifically, she was interested in the Black Womanist theologian Delores Williams’ critique of Cone, and the argument regarding the specific nature of suffering experienced by both men and women.