Dr. Reggie Williams is an Assistant Professor of Christian Ethics at McCormick Theological Seminary, in Chicago. His research interests are primarily focused on the connection between Christian interpretations of the way of Jesus, and Christian morality. His current research investigates how popular Western-world interpretations of Christianity have been calibrated to a false ideal that corresponds with racialized interpretations of humanity, morality, and Jesus.
His current book project is an analysis of the developments within Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s theology and ethics, as a result of his experience in the Harlem Renaissance, 1930-31, forthcoming from Baylor University Press.
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• McCormick Theological Seminary Bio
How would Bonhoeffer respond to race in today’s culture?
“The question for Bonhoeffer is our ability to love our neighbor as ourself,” explains Dr. Reggie Williams, an Assistant Professor of Christian Ethics at McCormick Theological Seminary. Since Christ has already vicariously represented humanity, we must recognize the “God-loved humanity” of all people, no matter race or type. This often means helping minorities to recover their lost humanity. “Christ stands in for all of humanity before God.”
What should Christians take away from the life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer?
“Dietrich Bonhoeffer came to rail against triumphalism,” recounts Dr. Reggie Williams, an Assistant Professor of Christian Ethics at McCormick Theological Seminary. Making assumptions about good and evil and “having life figured out” can become very dangerous when it comes to thoughtless judgment. “It’s calling evil good and good evil…rather than joining one’s self in solidarity and suffering.”
What was the Purpose of the Harlem Renaissance?
“The idea behind it was to, on one hand, to reshape the public definition or interpretation of black people…there’s also a sense for black people to recognize ‘blackness,’ African American identity, as more than that,” responds Dr. Reggie Williams, an Assistant Professor of Christian Ethics at McCormick Theological Seminary. The key purpose of the movement was to remove the “story” the caricatures of black people, and replace them with truer stories.
More Reggie Williams Videos
How would you compare Bonhoeffer’s regard for humanity with the issue of undocumented immigrants?
Michelle Alexander’s ‘The New Jim Crow’
Was Bonhoeffer well received during his lifetime?
Was Martin Luther King Jr. informed by Dietrich Bonhoeffer?
What makes Bonhoeffer relevant today?
What was the Harlem Renaissance?
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