Webinar Series 2: Black Lives Past and Present

CLUE+ and the Graduate School of Humanities VU cordially invite you to the second webinar series: Black Lives Past and Present.

11/17/2020 | 4:00 PM

‘In recent months we have been re-awakened by loud voices of anger and sorrow at the injustice called racism. They speak of violence that kills people. They also speak of hidden power structures in our society that put people at a disadvantage because of fewer opportunities to develop themselves or because of ethnic profiling’ (statement on racism by VU, click here to read the full statement). The research institute CLUE+ of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam wishes to take part in the ‘courageous conversations’ about uncomfortable questions with sometimes painful answers. By organizing a series of webinars on the history of slavery, colonialism, institutional racism and violence we hope to contribute to these conversations with insights from history.

Practical information

The series consists of short introductions by the speakers after which the audience can ask questions via the chat. Moderator will be Aaron Peterer.
If you wish to attend, please use this link: https://tinyurl.com/y5u3ug4w to register. After registration you will receive information on how to join the webinar.

Tuesday 17 November 2020: 16.00-17.00

Beyond White Jesus

[Click here to watch a recording of this webinar]

Peter-Ben Smit: If we are like him, isn’t he like us? Inculturation, ownership and Jesus in Western “white” tradition

The best argument against “the” white Jesus is: the white Jesus. Christian faith was formed by and played a role in forming Western and Northern European culture. This has led to a variety of representations of Jesus, frequently white, always responding to specific contexts and needs. Christ entered culture: a process of “in-culturation”; the results range from Jesus as a victim of the plague, by way of Jesus as philosopher or shepherd, to Jesus as a transgender person or a person with Down’s syndrome. Considering this shows that representations of Jesus are always in flux and not a single one of them can be regarded as normative for all contexts and people, not even “the” white Jesus, which, in fact, only exists as a plethora of diverse representations of Jesus in relation to particular situations.

Robert Beckford: Your white Jesus can't Save Us, But the Black Christ might Save You

In Caribbean diaspora cultures in Britain, the white Jesus is so ideologically 'loaded' that its inclusion makes no meaningful contribution to the struggle for Christian racial justice. The solution for artists is to construct Black images of Christ to promote black resistance and re-existence.  But can these representations offer more than a contribution to the sacred cause of "Black Lives Matter? Does the black Christ connote inclusivity, or is it a reproduction of the bias the artists seek to overcome?

Poster 2.1