Embedded in persistent representations of people of African descent as inferior beings or subpar humans are problematic notions of animality, race, and nature in the U.S., or a lethal combination of intimately conjoined white supremacy and species supremacy. Confronting these processes is a model of African American religious naturalism, which presupposes human animals’ deep, inextricable homology with each other and with other natural processes. Building on the ideas of Anna J. Cooper, W. E. B. du Bois, and James Baldwin, this model of religious naturalism emphasizes humans as sacred centers of value and distinct movements of nature itself where deep relationality and interconnectedness become key metaphors for honoring all life forms. Some suggestions for understanding our human animality in light of these claims are offered.
American Journal of Theology & Philosophy
Carol Wayne White. "Black Lives, Sacred Humanity, and the Racialization of Nature, or Why America Needs Religious Naturalism Today." American Journal of Theology & Philosophy 38, no. 2-3 (2017): 109-22. http://www.jstor.org.ezproxy.bucknell.edu/stable/10.5406/amerjtheophil.38.2-3.0109.