A Body Broken, A Body Betrayed: Race, Memory, and Eucharist in White-Dominant Churches

Mary McClintock Fulkerson
Cascade Books
Published Year: 
A body broken

Mary McClintock Fulkerson, professor of theology at Duke Divinity School, has co-written a book calling for mainline Protestant churches to acknowledge and address the wounds caused by racial injustice and white privilege that continue to harm and diminish the life of the church.

The book, A Body Broken, A Body Betrayed: Race, Memory, and Eucharist in White-Dominant Churches, was published in late October by Cascade Books of Wipf and Stock Publishers. It was co-authored with theologian and author Marcia W. Mount Shoop.

In calling for new kinds of attention and healing for these wounds, the two ordained Presbyterian ministers specifically say the dynamics of whiteness need to be exposed especially in contexts where whites have had the most power in America such as in the church  ̶  particularly mainline Protestant churches.

McClintock Fulkerson and Shoop use the Eucharist as a template for both the church's blindness and for Christ's redemptive capacity, while inviting faith communities, especially white-dominant churches, into new ways of remembering what it means to be the body of Christ.

The problem that the book addresses of the quiet and subtle way race deforms predominantly white, Presbyterian congregations couldn’t be more timely, states reviewer Ellen T. Armour, Carpenter Associate Professor of Feminist Theology at Vanderbilt Divinity School. “Its authors bring to this fraught subject a well-honed commitment to racial justice and a wealth of experience in Presbyterian congregational life…. Clergy, scholars, and laity have much to gain from this insightful and accessible blend of trenchant academic analysis, theological wisdom, and genuine compassion."

A member of the Divinity School faculty since 1983, McClintock Fulkerson is the author of Changing the Subject: Women's Discourses and Feminist Theology and also Places of Redemption: Theology for a Worldly Church. A resident of West Lafayette, Ind., Shoop is the author of Let the Bones Dance: Embodiment and the Body of Christ and also Touchdowns for Jesus and Other Signs of Apocalypse: Lifting the Veil on Big-Time Sports.