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Conference Tackles ‘Christian Heresy’ of White Supremacy

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“Christianity embedded in white supremacy has become the dominant tradition,” Dr. Yolanda Pierce, dean of the Howard University School of Divinity, said at the Christianity and White Supremacy: Heresy and Hope conference held March 29-30 at Princeton University. 

“The reason the tradition is a problem is it presupposes superiority and we need to name that,” said Pierce, speaking on a panel during the conference’s opening night. Her remarks drew applause from a racially-mixed audience seated in pews inside the university chapel.

Pierce, an ordained minister, later told Faithfully Magazine that some White evangelicals were unable to recognize that the faith they practice is one of white supremacy and not the faith of Christ.

“Those are two very different things. Even though our nation has unfortunately conflated them, I think the work of Christians is to be able to tear them apart. So what I am is a follower of the Christ. What I am not is a follower of empire. I think it is very hard for people to do that,” she said.

Pierce appeared on the panel alongside Dr. Andrew Wymer of New Brunswick Theological Seminary, Dr. Josiah Young of Wesley Theological Seminary, Dr. Eric Barreto of Princeton Theological Seminary, and activist Mark Charles. Dr. Shively T. J. Smith, assistant professor of New Testament at Boston University, moderated their discussion.

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Nicola A. Menzie
Nicola A. Menzie
Nicola A. Menzie a religion reporter whose bylines have appeared on the websites of the Religion News Service, The Christian Post, CBS News and Vibe magazine. Nicola is the Managing Editor at You can find her on Twitter @namenzie. Email: nicola.menzie (at)

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