BJC Book Club: Be part of the conversation
Go deeper on topics related to preserving faith freedom for all with BJC’s book club. Together, we read through one book at a time, setting a goal of certain chapters each week. We’ll have weekly Zoom meetings in small groups to discuss questions based on the reading. At the end of each book club, we’ll invite the author to join us and share additional thoughts and ideas for action as we work to make sure freedom is protected for everyone.
The next BJC Book Club is coming soon! Return to this page in the future for updates.
Previous book club selection:
White Christian Privilege: The Illusion of Religious Equality in America
By Dr. Khyati Joshi
July 6 , 2021 – July 27, 2021
In July 2021, the BJC Book Club hosted a weekly conversation on White Christian Privilege: The Illusion of Religious Equality in America. The author, Dr. Kyati Joshi, joined the final session to talk with participants and take their questions.
In this book, Dr. Joshi explores Christian privilege, Christian normativity, and Christian hegemony in this powerful analysis. Her argument is simple: Christianity (particularly the European Protestant strain) has been established as the unacknowledged common culture, not simply religion, of the United States, leading to a situation where anything not white, Western, and Christian is seen as abnormal. Providing something of a whistle-stop tour — rather than an in-depth exploration — Joshi whisks through the development of white Christian privilege in just under two chapters. She explores the effects of the 16th-century papal “The Doctrine of Discovery” that authorized any Christian monarch who “discovers non-Christian lands has a right to claim a superior and paramount title to these lands” and argues it was used to justify the conquest of indigenous people. She also uses National Geographic’s 2018 apology for decades of racist coverage as a jumping-off point to examine contemporary problems in the representation of non-Christian minorities and foreigners.
Previous book club selection:
Faith in American Public Life
By Melissa Rogers
Book reading and discussion: January 5 , 2021 – January 26, 2021
In Faith in American Public Life, Melissa Rogers ― former Special Assistant to President Barack Obama and Executive Director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships ― explores the role of religion in the public square and focuses on principles that define the relationship between government and religion. While the U.S. Constitution prohibits government-backed religion, it protects the rights of religious individuals and organizations to promote their faith. These twin principles have helped freedom and faith to flourish in the United States.
Previous BJC Book Club Selection:
The Color of Compromise: The Truth about the American Church’s Complicity in Racism
By Jemar Tisby
Book reading and discussion: September 9 – September 30, 2020
Watch the Facebook Live introduction of the book club with BJC Executive Director Amanda Tyler and Director of Education Charles Watson Jr.
The Color of Compromise is both enlightening and compelling, telling a history we either ignore or just don’t know. Equal parts painful and inspirational, it details how the American church has helped create and maintain racist ideas and practices. You will be guided in thinking through concrete solutions for improved race relations and a racially inclusive church.
Preview: Listen to Jemar Tisby on the BJC Podcast series on the dangers of Christian nationalism.
I thoroughly enjoyed The Color of Compromise book club hosted by BJC. The diversity of viewpoints was very enlightening, and the discussions were engaging.
The book club provided an opportunity to process the church’s complicity in racism and to consider decisive actions we might take toward racial justice. It allowed me to engage these ideas and learn from a diverse group of new friends who provided a broader perspective.