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From Lost Cause to Found Cause: Christian Responses to Racist Symbols and Histories.

July 13, 20195:00 pm5:50 pm
Over the last decade, flags, monuments and even certain ways of thinking about the past have become central to an increasingly ugly debate about what America is all about. How should Christians respond as their local college campuses, court houses, and other public spaces become cultural battlegrounds where groups fight for control of the past? Drawing on my own work curating museum-based exhibits of removed confederate statues, this session will begin by addressing the history of those statues, the motivations of those who erected them, and the meanings/uses of confederate statues today. It will then broaden out into a more general discussion about how history, heritage, memory and ritual play out in the present.

We’ll also discuss what a “Christian” response to these issues might look like and how that response might be different (and yet complimentary to) other liberal and progressive responses. Are Confederate symbols powerful, pathetic or both? Are they perpetuators of cultural trauma, symptoms of cultural trauma or both? Can Christians embody a ministry of reconciliation around these issues? Can mercy triumph over justice? Can American communities create new cultural approaches that celebrate diversity and inclusion, while also celebrating the best of what the past passed on?

12:00 am Benjamin Wright
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