Whitewashing Biblical Characters
Episode 33 · September 14th, 2022 · 54 mins 34 secs
About this Episode
From the time she was a young girl, Rev. Wil Gafney knew something was wrong. Every major biblical figure, in both art and popular culture, was represented as white. Now a scholar and Episcopal priest, Gafney paints a more accurate picture of our Afro-Asiatic forebearers, making a case that engaging with the racist history of biblical criticism and western art is key to forging a more just future. Gafney also briefly discusses her love of sci-fi and Star Wars and tries to dissect the animus aimed at black actors that ventured into the Star Wars universe. She also discusses her love of Hebrew, praying in synagogues and connection with Jewish community, and some of the fraught nature of inter-religious interactions. Though the discussion isn’t High Holiday-themed per se, the content seems apt for the days of awe as it challenges all of us to question our assumption and, perhaps, to atone for harm caused intentionally or unintentionally.
Theme song, “Ilu Finu” by Rabbi Miriam Margles. Her album This is the Day is available for purchase at CDBaby: https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/miriammarglesandthehadarensemb
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This podcast is produced by Reconstructing Judaism. Visit us at ReconstructingJudaism.org.Support Evolve
- Read Rev. Gafney's Evolve essay, "Whitewashing Biblical Characters"
- Read Rev. Gafney's Evolve essay, "Reading the Scriptures While Womanist"
- Rev. Gafney's latest book, "A Women’s Lectionary for the Whole Church: Year A"
- From Vanity Fair, "John Boyega Gets Real About Star Wars and Racism"
- From Indie Wire, "Lucasfilm Warned ‘Obi-Wan’ Star Moses Ingram About Racist ‘Star Wars’ Hate"
- Jephthah in the Book of Judges
- Also on Evolve, "Transforming Our Unjust World and Personal Teshuvah: Considering Reparations for Slavery"