Religion and gender

Authored by: Leila Hadj Abdou

The Routledge Handbook of Religion, Politics and Ideology

Print publication date:  August  2021
Online publication date:  August  2021

Print ISBN: 9780367417826
eBook ISBN: 9780367816230
Adobe ISBN:


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During the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests in the wake of the murder by US police forces of African American George Floyd, activists were asking to—alongside Confederate monuments—tear down statues in which Jesus was depicted as a white European. The activists argued that these statues conveyed a bigger political message: If Jesus is imagined as white, and God is white, this then implies that authority is white. Thus, the statues, activists emphasized, symbolized white supremacy (Washington Post, June 25, 2020). A popular graffiti slogan that appeared from the 1980s onwards on the walls of European and North American cities in turn reads: ‘God is black, yes she is’. The graffiti slogan goes one step further than the activists calling out the whitening of Jesus. The slogan not only questions the idea of authority as white but also the idea of authority as being male. After all, ‘God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve’ is a popular car bumper sticker in the United States, a country where political positions, in this example, a stance against homosexuality, tend to be exhibited on cars.

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