Religion and Race

Not that I’m the first person to come to this realisation or anything, but I had a flash of insight the other day. I was reading Masuzawa on the invention of world religion. She makes the point that religion, in its modern sense, is invented first, as Christianity distinguishes itself from other ‘religions’. In other words, religion is a category invented in order for Christianity to assert its own supremacy.

About the same time I was listening to Anthony Paul Smith’s interview with George Yancy. Listening to Yancy’s description of the relationship between whiteness and race, it occurred to me that it was the exact same logic – discourse on race is invented in order to create a space in which whiteness can be asserted as supreme.

Again, no where near the first person to make this connection. Somehow it just hit me in a way that resonated at a deep and profound level.