The Church in the Americas

The Church For and Against the Racial Empires

This statue is of the Dominican preacher Antonio Montesinos, the Spanish Dominican preacher who advocated before Spanish authorities on behalf of the Taino people, on what is now the island of Hispaniola.  The statue sits outside of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.  Because the European church was reverting back to the model of ancient pagan tribalism and imperialism, the first encounters of Europeans with the Americas were bound up with greed, slavery, and sexual violence.  Montesinos reminds us that the true task of the church was to repent of this heresy and reassert God's good vision for humanity.  Photo credit: Caballero, Wikimedia Commons. 


the church in the americas: the church for and against the racial empires

The selection of perspectives on church history in this section has been guided by three factors: (1) to demonstrate that Christianity has not been a “white man’s religion”; (2) the study of empire as a recurring motif in Scripture by recent biblical studies scholars; and (3) explorations of biblical Christian ethics on issues of power and polity, to understand how Christians were faithful to Christ or not.  Christian relational ethics continues a Christian theological anthropology that began with reflection on the human nature of Jesus, and the human experience of biblical Israel.

church and empire: reflections on faithfulness and compromise: topics