Kathryn Gin Lum, Heathen: Religion & Race in American History

I’m coming up on one of those high school anniversaries I don’t want to admit. And despite my denial of my age, a part of me also doesn’t like reminiscing about a period of my life filled with getting it wrong, not liking who I was, and wishing I could change the past.

And yet, looking back through an honest assessment is entirely healthy for our present and future.

Kathryn Gin Lum

The church is in one of those moments right now. The past is coming up in ways that many do not want to deal with in an honest and healthy way. Namely, the Western Anglo-American church has to come to terms with the legacy of racism, dehumanizing, subjugation, and annihilation of countless people groups in the name of God and westward expansion.

“The White Protestant Americans who professionalized the discipline in the late nineteenth century prided themselves on being progressive history makers, seeing the blessings of Providence in their technological invention and world-conquering ambitions. By contrast, they imagined the heathen world as a lethargic realm of unchanging pitiable, made such by their deluded and time-wasting devotion to false idols,” said Dr. Kathryn Gin Lum on the CBF Podcast Conversation.

We sat down with the author of “Heathen: Religion and Race in American History” to dig deeper into the church’s legacy. At Stanford, Kathryn is the Associate Professor of Religious Studies in collaboration with the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity.

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Andy Hale is the creator and host of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Podcast. Hale is the Associate Executive Coordinator of CBF North Carolina. He’s also served as CBF’s Church Start Specialist, the founding pastor of Mosaic Church of Clayton, and the senior pastor of University Baptist Church of Baton Rouge. Follow on Twitter @haleandy.

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