Christian Supremacy: Reckoning with the Roots of Antisemitism and Racism

Princeton Univ. May 2023. 400p. ISBN 9780691242583. $35. RELIGION
In this accessible and comprehensive study, Teter (Judaic studies, Fordham Univ.; Blood Libel) traces the twisted historic origins of white supremacy and its centuries of suppressing the civil and political rights of Jewish individuals and people of color. The book covers well-trodden territory, but it will be an eye-opener for many readers. Making use of historic documents and images, Teter traces antisemitism and racism back to late antiquity and through to the events of Jan. 6, 2021. The author connects the dots between white European politicians, religious leaders, and philosophers to their fear of diminished political and economic power and their subsequent dehumanization of Jewish people and people of color. It is a philosophy which first crossed the Atlantic with the earliest colonists and continues today. Teter’s research may shock readers due to the repugnance of the philosophies its examines and the inherent violence that those philosophies have engendered.
VERDICT A disturbing read at times, but an important one, especially given the growth of the white supremacy movement in this era.
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