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"Race" as Revealed in the Bible and in Jesus

February 1, 2008; Disc; "Race" as Revealed in the Bible and in Jesus; by Dr. Rodney Sadler, Jr.

Feb 1,'08 (Fri) — DISC presents: "Race" as Revealed in the Bible and in Jesus  —  map to St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church

Friday night starts at 7PM. Saturday offers a special DVD on the Dead Sea Scrolls at 8:30AM and then the program on Race and the Bible at 10. Lunch is at 12 and the afternoon on Relationships and Reconciliation - in Christ goes from 1-3:30.

Dr. Sadler will present two workshops. The first is roughly entitled "Implications of Our Image of Jesus on Human Relationships," which takes participants through a spoken and visual presentation addressing the power of symbols to impact how we think not only of Jesus and God, but of Others. In this time we will wrestle with the authenticity of the most prominent dominant image of Christ, Warner Sallman's "Head of Christ." Then we will move into a larger discussion about how such an image impacts Others who do not conform to this image and Western Christians' view of self and Others (inasmuch as "we" conform to the image and "they" do not). This two part dialogue will include discussions in small groups that develop plans to address the issue with images and strategies to work against "racism" as we seek to see the image of God in Others.

The second presentation "Race in the Bible" will emphasize the way that "race" is viewed in the Hebrew Scriptures. Technically, there is no concept of "race" present, so we will focus on 1) passages that have been historically "racialized" (i.e. Gen. 9, 10; Jeremiah 13:23; Amos 9:7), 2) passages where those who moderns would consider different "races" are shown interacting (i.e. Num 12; Jeremiah 38-39), and 3) texts that could lend to isolationist, hence racialist thought (i.e. Lev.19:18; Gen. 12:1-3, 15:17-21; Gen. 21:1-6). This talk is targeted at a Christian and Jew audience, and will work toward an ecumenical basis for anti-racialist discourse. Though aimed at a diverse audience, we may even explore certain themes from the Second Testament, that while not pertinent to Jews would not be prohibitive and will emphasize the common first century Jewish context for the development of early Christian thought about Others. The passages that would be considered in this conversation are Mark 7:24-30; Romans 11:13-22; and Galatians 3:23-29. We will discuss the new paradigm for relationships "in-Christ" as we address these New Testament passages.

Rodney S. Sadler, Jr., Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Bible
Union-PSCE at Charlotte

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