Dr. Matt R. Jantzen of the Hope College ministry studies faculty is the author of “God, Race, and History: Liberating Providence,” published earlier this month by Lexington Books.
As described by the publisher, “In crafting racial visions of the modern world, European thinkers appropriated the Christian doctrine of providence, constructing the idea of European humanity’s rule over the globe on the model of God’s rule over the universe. As a powerful ordering theory of the relationship between God and creation, time and space, self and other, the doctrine served as an intellectual framework for the theorization of whiteness, as the male European subject replaced Jesus Christ as the human being at the center of world history.”
“Through an analysis of the work of G.W.F. Hegel, Karl Barth, and James H. Cone,‘God, Race, and History’ examines this subversion of the Christian doctrine of providence, as well as subsequent attempts within modern Protestant theology to liberate the doctrine from its captivity to whiteness. It then develops a constructive political theology of providence in conversation with Delores S. Williams and M. Shawn Copeland, discerning Jesus Christ at work through the Holy Spirit in the struggles of ordinary, overlooked, and oppressed human creatures to survive and to carve out a flourishing life for themselves, their communities, and their world.”
In his editorial review of the book, Dr. Stanley Hauerwas of Duke University Divinity School said, “Matt Jantzen not only provides a fresh reading of Barth, he makes possible an account of providence that has been absent in much of modern theology. Hopefully, this book will attract a wide readership for no other reason than this is what theological work should look like. Theologians may actually have something to say about the way things are.”
Jantzen, who is a visiting assistant professor of ministry studies, teaches coursework in the areas of Christian theology and ethics, and his research explores the relationship between Christian theology, politics and race in the modern world. He is also the faculty director of the college’s Emmaus Scholars Program, a living-learning community on campus that combines the practices of intentional Christian community with academic and practical explorations of the relationship between faith and justice in contemporary global society.
He graduated from Wheaton College in 2009. He subsequently attended graduate school at Duke University, where he completed a Master of Divinity degree in 2012 and a Doctor of Theology degree in 2017.
“God, Race, and History: Liberating Providence” is 210 pages in length and available in hardcover for $100 from https://rowman.com/ISBN/9781793619556/God-Race-and-History-Liberating-Providence as well as through the Hope College Bookstore as well as other booksellers and Amazon. The book is also available through Kindle for $45.