Unsettling Truths: The Ongoing, Dehumanizing Legacy of the Doctrine of Discovery
Injustice has plagued American society for centuries. And we cannot move toward being a more just nation without understanding the root causes that have shaped our culture and institutions.
In this prophetic blend of history, theology, and cultural commentary, Mark Charles and Soong-Chan Rah reveal the far-reaching, damaging effec ...more
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This book is about the Doctrine of Discovery and both how it's been used and how it gave permission for white supremacy to commit genocide, seen in the almost complete extermination and defrauding of America's indigenous peoples.
For me, this was akin to reading Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America or The Color of Compromise: The Truth about the American Church’s Complicity ...more
Usually, I write about books reasonably quickly after I read them. I do this, not just because I like to discuss books and encourage others to read them, but as a type of public spiritual discipline where I try to write about thoughts so I can look back at them later and process books publicly as a means creating some open accountability for my Christian faith...more
The author brings to the fore the principle which undergirded the colonization of America: the "doctrine o ...more
I saw someone say (about another book) that if you say you liked the book or that you enjoyed it, you kind of missed the point. I think that sums up this book pretty well. I don't think I can say I liked this book or that I thought it was good as much as it's brutal and holds this country's feet to the fire. Of course, it doesn't take an extremely informed person to know that this country has not been nice to Native Americans, but the history is so much worse than I could've ever imagined ...more
I think these guys make some good points that are important for American Christians to hear. But unfortunately, the book is so polemical in tone that they risk alienating the very people that they are ostensibly trying to reach. I’m sympathetic with many of their complaints about the Doctrine of Discovery — the idea that the US government owns all the land that it “discovered,” notwithstanding the fact that there were already people living there. And yes, I can also see that ...more
Here's a quote from chapter four: "Christendom is the prostitution of the church to the empire that
created a church culture of s ...more
This book is about the Doctrine of Discovery and the Christian Church. It explores how this doctrine has oppressed nations and people of color. It presents a history that has not been put forth in the textbooks and is very well documented.
The authors have created a much needed look at the Church's role in the Doctrine of Discovery. It is a book that I believe Church's should read, discuss and take actio ...more
The authors go right for the jugular in this historical summary, making a bold case that the "Doctrine of Discovery" provided a racially-structured, white-supremacist foundation for ever ...more
- the church is best when it is subversive. Are we missing the point as a nation as we have created a Christian empire and are currently living in the age of “Christendom”
- the victors write the history and that is ve ...more
Columbus discovered America, right? Pilgrims, Puritans, and other Europeans "settled" America and drove out the "Indians" who threatened their settlements. That's what I learned in history class.
That's not how the Native Peoples of Turtle Island (what they call Nort ...more
The authors outline the development of the doctrine of discovery from Eusebius and Augustine to Aquinas and Calvin, and show how it has influenced the founding documents of the United States as well as current political discourse.
He explains how the American Constitution and even heroes such as Lincoln carried harmful attitudes such as American exceptionalism and wh ...more
Unsettling Truths lives out Jemar Tisby's admonition that for the American church to move forward we must look honestly, painfully at our complicity in racial atrocities. This kind of book is needed.
But overall its a very harsh book. And I think the harshness undercuts some of the book's efficacy. And overall, the book just felt a little rough around the edges (editorially).
Charles's explanation of ...more
In reading this book and its reviews, the best conclusion I can come to is that I am just not the intended audience for this book. Because of that, I’m not going to review this comprehensively. There’s just no point in me sharing the things that I perceived as ...more
It’s hard to even know where to begin. As a white woman with a substantial amount of pride in my heritage and country, this was a painful experience to read but also a transformative one. Some chapters read quite slowly and you begin to wonder “What other horrible things did we do?” but definitely stick it out because the last 3 chapters (11,12 and the conclusion) should be required reading for every American Christian regardless of political views or ethnicity.
To God ...more
I am grateful for the authors and their call to face the truth of how this nation has become what it is and going forward, to expect more from our nation, from ourselves.
Overall, it makes some good points and it is generally a good (part of the) antidote to the white-centered story we've been taught in school. (German friend, having grown up with the Holocaust as a large part of the curriculum, was aghast when I told him how I had learned extremel ...more