Recently, I’ve seen a number of people on social media expressing sadness that Quakers in Britain aren’t at the forefront of campaigning for a particular cause, or against a particular problem. By not taking a collective stand on a moral issue, the Quaker community is falling short of their expectations. I’ve been thinking about why this disappointment might occur, and what I might say to someone who feels this way.
At the 2021 Britain Yearly Meeting Gathering, I gave a talk and workshop on behalf of Woodbrooke called '“Why do you call me good?”: Talking about whiteness and responsibility'. This video is now freely available to watch on the Woodbrooke YouTube channel, and I thought readers of my blog might appreciate it too.
I'm pleased to announce that my article '"Why do you call me good?": Whiteness and Quaker theological fragility' has been published today in the Friends Quarterly (Issue 3, 2021). You can buy a copy of this edition here: https://thefriend.org/magazine/tfq.
The community formed by and around Christ should be one of strangers brought into intimate communion, a new kind of family. But what has happened to this original vision of the Church?... The Church has moved from being a community of intimacy to a community of strangers, strangers who don’t even recognise one other as fellow Christians. In his book ‘The Christian Imagination: Theology and the Origins of Race’, Willie James Jennings describes the roots of this ‘distorted relational imagination’.