Know Your Place
DescriptionWhite evangelicals have struggled to understand or enter into modern conversations on race and racism, because their inherited and imagined world has not prepared them for this moment. American Southerners, in particular, carry additional obstacles to such conversations, because their regional identity is woven together with the values and histories of white evangelicalism. In Know Your Place, Justin Phillips examines the three community loyalties (white, southern, and evangelical) that shaped his racial imagination. Phillips examines how each community creates blind spots that overlap with the others, insulating the individual from alternative narratives, making it difficult to conceive of a world different than the dominant white evangelical world of the South. When their world is challenged or rejected outright, it can feel like nothing short of the end of the world. Blending together personal experiences with ethics and pastoral sensibilities, Phillips traces for white, southern evangelicals a line running from the past through the present, to help his beloved communities see how their loyalties--their stories, histories, and beliefs--have harmed their neighbors. In order to truly love, repair, and reconcile brokenness, you first have to know your place.
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About the Author
"In Know Your Place, Phillips has done the hard work of confronting his own demons, wresting them of their power by telling hard truths. His courageous story invites those of us who bear the name Southern white evangelicals to do the same, to come face to face with the ugliness of our shared history and to be brave enough to do something about it. A powerful, convicting read perfect for church and classroom study."
--Mandy McMichael, associate director and J. David Slover Assistant Professor of Ministry Guidance, Baylor University
"I could not stop reading! Phillips's impressive scholarship, gripping life experiences, and piercing reflections glued me to the book! His spellbinding storytelling left me feeling, 'he's one of us, ' only smarter, better read, more honest--just the wise guide needed to lead us through our own story into a shared future of hope. Neither an unloving critic, nor uncritical lover, Phillips leads us to a wholesome celebration of our place with all in the body of Christ."
--J. Randall O'Brien, former provost of Baylor University, president emeritus of Carson-Newman University, and author of Set Free by Forgiveness: The Way to Peace and Healing