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Racism, and an Ecclesial and Missional Perspective

Introduction With the charge of racism in the USA as prevalent as that of being ‘enemies of the people’ in the French Revolution, we might also ask whether the former term is in as much want of definition as the latter phrase.Terms vaguely defined are powerful weapons on the tongues of revolutionaries.In an effort to achieve greater clarity, I would suggest that at least some of us might be helped first by defining our terms.A clearer analysis of demographics and statistics in US cities and other cities in the world would also be of help to diagnose the problems of our times.This would lead to real solutions to urban problems that get behind the simplistic rhetoric of racism.This essay, however, is not about that research.[1](It can be done by anyone, since the statistics are online, but it also has been done and is often ignored by people whose political agenda depends on a racial narrative that will not be belabored, let alone undermined, by facts and research.)In this essay, I focu…
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Some Characteristics of the West's Postmodern Tribalism

Western tribalism shares certain characteristics with all tribalism, but it is also different.  The similarities and differences will be explored here.Tribalism has to do with group identity versus universal identity.Pre-Modernity’s language of universal human nature and Modernity’s language of rights give way to the discussion of wrongs done to some tribal groups by other tribal groups.This is partly because Postmodernity gives up on defining the essence of what it means to be human and focusses instead on mere existence.Existentialism, the philosophical perspective contributing to Postmodernity, is best described as that philosophical understanding of human life that denies that there is an essential reality and only an existential reality for humanity: existence precedes essence.One version of this conviction is now playing out in Western culture: the denial of a universal human essence and a focus on the relationship of groups.Tribal identity is being pursued in its Western form i…