White Evangelical Christian Ideology and the Construction of Whiteness

Lessons for Educators

Authors

  • Erin Miller University of North Carolina at Charlotte, USA
  • Sam Tanner University of Iowa, USA
  • Rev. Evan Willis Northeast SDA Church, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA
  • Stephen Hancock University of North Carolina at Charlotte, USA

Keywords:

Antiracist Pedagogy, Teacher Education, Education, Christianity, Black Liberation Theology

Abstract

In this manuscript, we revisit data from a 9-month ethnographic study that examined whiteness in early childhood. Specifically, the study explored the epistemological and ontological reality of three young white children and how they learned to conflate ethnocentric love with whitewashed justice through the lens of their religious upbringing. We theorize how such epistemological and ontological realities of religious ideologies potentially shape the pedagogies of educators who identify themselves as white Evangelical Christians (a demographic that represents over one-third of the total teaching force in the United States). Finally, we suggest how learning from black theologies could offer a way to expand notions of biblical love and justice to encompass those that are rooted in agency, social justice, and explicit attention to systematic oppression.

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Author Biographies

Erin Miller, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, USA

ERIN MILLER (she/her/hers), PhD, in an Associate Professor of Language and Diversity in the Department of Reading and Elementary Education at UNC Charlotte. Her scholarship and teaching relate to antiracist pedagogy, critical whiteness studies, and racial identity development. She can be reached at emille90@uncc.edu.

Sam Tanner, University of Iowa, USA

SAM TANNER (he/his), PhD, is an Associate Professor at the University of Iowa. He taught high school English and drama for nearly fifteen years prior to becoming a scholar. His research is concerned with democratic education, especially issues of race and whiteness. He can be reached at samuel-tanner@uiowa.edu.

Rev. Evan Willis, Northeast SDA Church, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA

REV. EVAN WILLIS (he/his), PhD, is the senior pastor of the Northeast SDA Church located in the Hidden Valley neighborhood of Charlotte, North Carolina. He also earned a PhD from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in urban education. His ministry and scholarship prioritize community collaboration, social justice activism, and racial equity. He can be reached at evan.willis88@gmail.com.

Stephen Hancock, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, USA

STEPHEN HANCOCK (he/his), PhD, is an Associate Professor of Multicultural Education in the Department of Reading and Elementary Education at UNC Charlotte.  Dr. Hancock serves as an instructor, researcher, and leader. He is currently the Assistant Director of the Urban Education Collaborative, Director of the International Conference on Urban Education (ICUE), and leads and supports both university and community boards, committees, and task forces. He can be reached at sdhancoc@uncc.edu.

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Published

2022-10-25

How to Cite

Miller, E., Tanner, S., Willis, R. E. ., & Hancock, S. (2022). White Evangelical Christian Ideology and the Construction of Whiteness: Lessons for Educators . Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in Education, 11(2), 22–44. Retrieved from https://ojed.org/index.php/jise/article/view/4567