Baker Academic

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Jesus was White? - Le Donne

My thanks to James McGrath for this image.
Nobody does Xmas anachronism better than
Dr. McGrath.
Megyn Kelly of FOXNews created a bit of buzz last week when she told the kids of America that Santa is white. There are things that I will get pugilistic about and Santa’s race is… okay… I almost dozed off there.

Kelly then referred to Jesus’ whiteness.

Two quick points about this one. (1) “White” is a modern category. Like most racial labels, this is a post-Enlightenment development.  So it’s anachronistic (that’s a real word, Mr. O'Reilly) to call Jesus white. (2) As I discuss in this essay, Jesus did indeed become an Aryan in many post-Enlightenment imaginations. In fact, folks like Ernst Renan expended a great deal of effort trying to prove that Jesus was Aryan. Renan's work was picked up by several theologians with National Socialist tendencies. This was about the same time that Jews were labeled non-Aryan.

For a network that is preoccupied with drawing comparisons between the Nazis and contemporary politics, one would expect a bit more knowledge about Nazi ideology. One would be disappointed.

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