Wednesday 26 May 2021

Ron Kuipers to Deliver Jay Newman Lecture at Canadian Theological Society

On June 1, Dr. Ronald A. Kuipers will be delivering the Jay Newman Lecture at this year's Canadian Theological Society virtual Congress of the Social Sciences and Humanities. Ron's lecture is entitled "Kind of Blue: Lamenting the Failures of Settler Christianity in a Twilight Civilization." 

The abstract reads as follows:

Amid the Black Lives Matter Movement and the ongoing struggle for the recognition of Indigenous rights, and in the wake of police murders of racialized minorities and state-sponsored cultural genocide, oppressed and marginalized groups are calling white Christians to reckon with the legacy of settler colonialism that continues to haunt their cherished religious traditions. As a settler Christian, I here share my first halting steps to undertake such a reckoning. It is a story about finally starting to listen, getting unsettled, and staying there. I have also found it to be a lament of sorts— a journey plunging me into a kind of blue that is perhaps different than the blues sung by those who have directly felt the immiseration and violence of colonialism’s oppressive legacy. It is, finally, a lament over the destructive “twilight civilization” (to use Cornel West’s phrase) this legacy has wrought—an unsustainable civilization which in a variety of ways dehumanizes everyone, whether we share the identity of the oppressor, the victim, or a mixture of both. Perhaps lament, then, is the spiritual practice settler Christians must first take up as we strive to work through and work free from our damaged past. That is, perhaps this reckoning calls settler Christians to perform a certain leave-taking before we may truly join our hearts and voices with those who seek to keep faith with all their fellow humans as well as the rest of God’s good Creation.

A full program for the Congress, including other presenters and presentation abstracts, can be found here on the CTS website.