Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation
Pan-African Studies, PhD
Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)
Christianity; monotheism; whiteness; white supremacy; anti-blackness; eurocentrism
This qualitative study investigates the cult(ural) and intellectual history of Western Christianity to address a significant gap in the literature pertaining to the origins of whiteness/antiblackness in the West and its subsequent socialization worldwide. Western Christianity’s seminal role in the social construction of the whiteness/antiblackness dichotomy has been undertheorized, neglected, and ignored. This study finds early Christian theologians categorically imposed conceptual metaphors about Blackness on African people that depicted them as the exemplars of evil to teach Christian doctrine about sin and salvation. It connects these original antiblack discourses directly to the theo-political arguments Western European Christians used centuries later to justify African hereditary enslavement, western colonialism, and the ethos and polity of white supremacy. It contends this identical rhetoric currently facilitates the relegation and confinement of African Americans post-emancipation to a permanent racial underclass that constitutes an afterlife of slavery in its perpetuation of colonial-era structures of exploitation and oppression. It concludes by finding whiteness/antiblackness, i.e., white supremacy, is a form of religion, the belief system of a cult based on White Christian animus to symbolic blackness that literally is directed at real Africans and their descendants worldwide. In closing, it recommends re-envisioning the global “Black” struggle as a struggle for re-existence It thus calls for Africana peoples to reject Western Christianity’s symbolic blackness and re-imagine Africana identities with a self-awareness and social consciousness able to defeat the gravitational pull of the massive “white” hole of White Christian Supremacy and the negative valence of whiteness/antiblackness it manifests and maintains.
Chenault, John, "Western Christianity and the origins of antiblackness, eurocentrism, and white supremacist ideology." (2022). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. Paper 3835.
Retrieved from https://ir.library.louisville.edu/etd/3835