When God Became White: Dismantling Whiteness for a More Just Christianity

IVP. May 2024. 200p. ISBN 9781514009390. pap. $18. REL
Presbyterian minister Kim (theology, Earlham Sch. of Religion; Spirit Life) takes aim at the legacies of discrimination within the metaphors and structures of Christianity. Her book traces ways that the image of God as a white man and the concurrent elevation of whiteness as an ideal has shaped the religious experience of Christians worldwide. She interweaves stories of her childhood as a Korean immigrant and personal encounters with racial and gender-based discrimination with wide-ranging commentary on subjects such as Christian symbolism, missionaries, enslavement, syncretism, and colonialism. Her writing style is sermonic, moving rapidly from topic to topic. But sometimes deep subjects are mentioned in only a paragraph or two, which may make some readers conclude that a massive amount of ideological terrain is covered too quickly. But the author does a good job of injecting personal stories and circling back to main themes, such as the interconnection of race, gender, sexuality, and class within systems of oppression.
VERDICT Kim has many laudable criticisms and analyses and offers readers insights into the workings of Christianity. The book would benefit, however, from more time spent on its heaviest topics.
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