Exposes the invisible ways in which white Christian privilege disadvantages racial and religious minorities in America
The United States is recognized as the most religiously diverse country in the world, and yet its laws and customs, which many have come to see as normal features of American life, actually keep the Constitutional ideal of "religious freedom for all" from becoming a reality. Christian beliefs, norms, and practices infuse our society; they are embedded in our institutions, creating the structures and expectations that define the idea of "Americanness." Religious minorities still struggle for recognition and for the opportunity to be treated as fully and equally legitimate members of American society. From the courtroom to the classroom, their scriptures and practices are viewed with suspicion, and bias embedded in centuries of Supreme Court rulings create structural disadvantages that endure today.
In White Christian Privilege, Khyati Y. Joshi traces Christianity's influence on the American experiment from before the founding of the Republic to the social movements of today. Mapping the way through centuries of slavery, westward expansion, immigration, and citizenship laws, she also reveals the ways Christian privilege in the United States has always been entangled with notions of White supremacy.
Through the voices of Christians and religious minorities, Joshi explores how Christian privilege and White racial norms affect the lives of all Americans, often in subtle ways that society overlooks. By shining a light on the inequalities these privileges create, Joshi points the way forward, urging readers to help remake America as a diverse democracy with a commitment to true religious freedom.
Khyati Y. Joshi
'In order to form a more perfect Union,' books such as White Christian Privilege add enormous value to highlighting the gap between illusion and reality. * New York Journal of Books * Looking at America's history-including slavery and westward expansion-White Christian Privilege explores how Christian privilege and white racial norms impact the lives of all Americans. The book demonstrates how Christian beliefs have been built into the Constitution and beyond, and the sometimes subtle and overlooked ramifications it has for religious minorities. * Publishers Weekly * Joshi explores the structures of white Christian privilege embedded in American institutions, laws, and culture ... insightful ... outlines examples of those who have the privilege but are blind to it, and some of the inequities suffered by uneven privilege. Recommended for readers interested in historical roots of religious freedom. * Library Journal * Illuminates the myriad ways that social structures, individual actions, and cultural assumptions have brought White Christians outsized power and freedom from responsibility. Thoughtful people of all races and faiths need to read and heed her words. -- Paul Spickard, Distinguished Professor of History, University of California, Santa Barbara