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Miami University The Intersection of Race Religion and Law Essay

Miami University The Intersection of Race Religion and Law Essay

Question Description

I’m working on a religion writing question and need a sample draft to help me study.

Format: Not to exceed 1,000 words. Times New Roman or Calibri fonts (or equivalent), size 10-12pt. One-inch margins. Citation style should consist of footnotes following the Chicago Manual of Style (found

For your assistance, I’ve compiled a working bibliography of the texts you’ve seen for the course. If you’d like any additional sources – such as items that we discussed in-person – please don’t hesitate to write. For these essays, you are neither required nor expected to seek out additional sources beyond our reading list.

Points: 40


Throughout our semester together, we’ve considered intersections of religion, law, and the question of theodicy – the question of evil, suffering, and injustice in religious thought. The question of enslavement, I would argue to you, is a question of theodicy – why is it justified for some communities to suffer damages to their bodies and minds to the benefit of others? How are these justifications created and sustained in institutions of enslavement? What can we learn from those intersections?

What of the legacies of race and enslavement within the law? Within communities of faith?

In consideration of these themes and questions, for this final essay, I’d like you to engage with two quotes from two texts we considered at the start of the semester: Megan Goodwin’s “Unmasking Islamophobia: Anti-Muslim Hostility and/as White Supremacy” and Charles Long’s “Interpretations of Black Religion in America.”

From Long: “The compromise over slavery at the beginning, in the formation and promulgation of the Constitution, is the archetype of that long series of compromises concerning the freedom of black Americans within the American national community. This first compromise sets the tone for what is almost a ritual of language concerning the nature of black freedom and, consequently, the meaning of freedom in the American Republic …. It is from this perspective that we must understand the meaning of religion in America from the point of view of one who is not a part of the heritage of European immigrants.” (165)

From Goodwin: “We cannot fully understand Americans’ suspicion of and violence toward American Muslims if we are not also thinking about race, if we fail to consider American Islam as racialized. In a nation that strongly identifies with white Christianity, American Islam’s connection to Black and Brown-ness, to slavery and immigration, and to a monotheism not centered on Jesus has led to suspicions that Muslims cannot truly be Americans. At the same time, it is insufficient to collapse anti-Muslim hostility into racism …. The perception of American Islam and American Muslims as a threat to American whiteness should fundamentally inform the study of American religions …. There is no singular way to do this, but one approach would be, following [Judith] Weisenfeld’s example, to reimagine the study of American religions as necessarily centered on considerations of race, on that provides historical context and intellectual challenge to a national amnesia that, in the words of American religions scholar Jason Bivins, ‘yearn[s] for the not-realness of black bodies, women’s bodies, Muslim bodies, or the dead who bear the marks of our complicity.” (378)

For Long and Goodwin, the study of religion and law in North America is incomplete without the study of race and, for Goodwin, the study of Islam.

Reflect on these quotes, offering your own critiques where you feel appropriate – as you attempt an answer at the following question:

What is the value of studying the intersections of religion, race, and law?

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