DuBois Reviewed


Pastor Robert Cornwall reviews Ed Blum's W. E. B. DuBois: American Prophet, here in Christian Century. He writes:

. . . it's Du Bois's critique of white American religion that makes this an important read for the nonspecialist. What we discover is a deeply spiritual man, influenced by the Social Gospel and religious modernist traditions, who is repelled by the hypocrisy of Christ's white followers. Du Bois's critique of white Christianity is hostile, but he doesn't reject religion or Christianity—only its distortions.


tracy said…
Nice review, Ed. I wanted to post earlier in response to the excerpt you put up on DuBois's "Silver Fleece." There seems to be so much more going on in that scene than simply a trumping of white notions of purity/holiness, since the Protestant "discovery" of the Madonna, often in literal scenes of discovery like this one, is such a heated trope in 19th century writings that were themselves very much in conversation with the most virulent strains of anti-Catholicism. (see, e.g., the Beecher family bibliography). DuBois seems almost to have had in mind a similar scene in "The Ministers Wooing," for example. And race is often the least submerged subtext in cases where white Protestants encounter the Catholic image/belief/ritual and then after some scandalized or admiring oohing and ahhing decide that they can make room for it, because they do it better anyway, without all the primitive trappings. So DuBois, no friend of white Catholicism by any stretch, is also in touch it seems with the ways white Protestants come to "own" Catholicism, with all that entails.

Modest swimwear worthy? You decide.
Anonymous said…
Sadly, I had not read Tracy Fessenden's amazing _Culture and Redemption_ before finishing my Du Bois book and therefore I was unable to see the connections between notions of Protestantism, Catholicism, and race as she so brilliantly unearths. Next time to the beach, it's modest swimwear for me.
Tracy said…
Oh, Ed, go easy on yourself and get the tan-through modest swimear, at least!

www.christianwebsite.com/.../Christianity/ Businesses/Tan_Thru_Swimwear_for_Christians_of_Modesty_108445.html - 15k -

And who got the great Christian Century review, anyway?