Adam F. Braun deposited Race and Legitimacy in Acts 17:26: An Approach from Political Theology on Humanities Commons 11 months, 3 weeks ago
Frederick Douglass appeals to Acts 17:26 in his famous letter, “What to the slave is the Fourth of July?” He intends to gain legitimacy to his argument by citing the beliefs of his opponents, when he says, “You profess to believe ‘that, of one blood, God made all nations of men to dwell on the face of all the earth.'” This paper will look at receptions of Acts 17:26 by abolitionists, multiculturalists, and segregationists. Abolitionists, even with good intentions, divide humans into races that elide racial differences and mask power dynamics. Likewise, multiculturalists equate all races as same and fail to address systemic issues. Segregationists demonstrate the proximity of racial exclusion made possible by abolitionists and multiculturalists. Through this analysis this paper will consider race, like Kotsko’s neoliberalism, as its own legitimizing political theology. Race legitimates all into a sameness that erases difference.