WTL Conversations [S3E15]: My Conversation with Phil Arnold and Sandy Bigtree on the Mapping the Doctrine of Discovery Podcast
PLUS, A December offer: Buy a book, get a discounted annual newsletter subscription
Dear #WhiteTooLong readers,
Thanks for your patience as I’ve been navigating the last legs of my fall 2023 book tour for The Hidden Roots of White Supremacy and the Path to a Shared American Future. I’m at my final stop in France this week, where I’m speaking at the American Cathedral in Paris. I’ll share that talk in the next newsletter, so restez à l'écoute!
White Too Long by Robert P. Jones is a reader-supported publication. To support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
In my penultimate stop last weekend, I attended an extraordinary conference on the “Religious Origins of White Supremacy,” hosted by the Indigenous Values Initiative and Syracuse University. If the Indigenous Values Initiative rings a bell for those of you who have read my most recent book, it is because that organization maintains the important doctrineofdiscovery.org website, which contains English translations of the key 15th-century Papal Bulls that constitute what is know today as the Doctrine of Discovery.
The conference was unlike any I’ve ever attended. First, it was my first experience speaking with a largely Indigenous audience about the Doctrine of Discovery and its legacy in America. I was keenly aware of my status as a cultural outsider and newcomer to this conversation that has been generated and kept alive by Indigenous scholars and activists for more than 50 years. But I was relieved to be warmly received.
The conference itself was remarkably rich. It included traditional Indigenous activists and artists (from the US and New Zealand); Indigenous and non-Indigenous scholars and legal experts on Indian Law; and strong student participation (a poster session featuring research by Syracuse students plus a session involving a group of community college students who drove in from Virginia with their professor). I’ve never attended a conference like it. I’m so grateful for the Henry Luce Foundation, who underwrote this event and who has also steadfastly supported PRRI’s work across the years.
I’m including below a conversation I had with the organizers of the conference and the hosts of the Mapping the Doctrine of Discovery podcast, Phil Arnold and Sandy Bigtree. You can see more information and click to listen below.
PLUS: Don’t miss a special December offer below. Buy The Hidden Roots of White Supremacy during the month of December and receive a discounted paid annual subscription to #WhiteTooLong (for you or a friend).
My Conversation with Phil Arnold and Sandy Bigree on the Mapping the Doctrine of Discovery Podcast
We begin this episode with a land acknowledgement.
In this episode of the Mapping the Doctrine of Discovery podcast, hosts Phil Arnold and Sandy Bigtree interview Robert P. Jones, the President and Founder of Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI). Jones discusses his background as a scholar and writer, and how he has evolved to incorporate personal narratives into his work. He also talks about his new book, “The Hidden Roots of White Supremacy and the Path Toward a Shared American Future,” which explores the history of white supremacy in American Christianity. Jones emphasizes the importance of truth-telling and cross-cultural conversations in addressing the legacy of white supremacy and working towards a more equitable future. The hosts also discuss the significance of shifting from Columbus Day to Indigenous People’s Day and the need for a broader understanding of American history that includes the contributions and perspectives of Indigenous and African-American peoples.
Resources Discussed on Show
Philip P. Arnold, The Urgency of Indigenous Values, (Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2023)
James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time, (New York: Vintage, 1992)
Greg Garrett, The Gospel According to James Baldwin: What America’s Great Prophet Can Teach Us about Life, Love, and Identity, (New York: Orbis Books, 2023)
Robert P. Jones, The Hidden Roots of White Supremacy: And the Path to a Shared American Future, (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2023)
_____, White Too Long: The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity, (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2023)
_____, The End of White Christian America,, (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2017)
Vine Deloria, Jr., Red Earth, White Lies,, (Fulcrum Publishing, 1997)
__, God Is Red: A Native View of Religion, (Fulcrum Publishing, 2023)
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