Reconciling "Wokeness" & The Church


As a “woke” person one of the things that is a difficulty for me when considering the Catholic Church is it’s history concerning colonialism in the America’s (ex. Columbus, Junipero Serra, Missions to Indigenous Peoples) and it’s historic and current European normative culture down to the Lily White depictions in the majority of sacred art. If you have had similar thoughts how have you dealt with them?


We, as humans, often project our human characteristics onto Christ and the Saints depending on our ethnicity.
Africans make Christ black
Asians make the Blessed Mother have more almond-shaped eyes
etc, etc
What’s wrong with Caucasians doing the same?


Since I’m white I prefer art depictions of White people. If I didn’t I think there would be something wrong with me.


Nothing per se. My problem is with MOST depictions being European…especially in light of a history in which Europeans oppressed non-Europeans in the name of a European depicted Christ.


Most depictions that you see, you mean?

I’d assume that you live in a primarily Caucasian society, which means

The artists around you make Christ look somewhat like themselves.




For a long time Christianity was predominantly isolated to Europe and it would make sense that many of the modern depictions in cultures derived from Europe have predominantly White depicitions. And as mentioned before, we tend to paint what we see. And what they saw were their fellow Caucasian Europeans. Much like how a lot of religious art has anachronisms. (The stained glass at a chapel I go to has the Romans in Medieval European garb as opposed to actual Roman clothing for example.) But by doing that, it’s also a way to make things more relatable to a degree. Just like how non-White Christian cultures have had non-White religious art.

Korean Jesus

Our Lady of Guadalupe

Black Jesus

Some non-White Madonna and Child depictions


This stuff is out there if you’re interested.


what is a woke person?


still not following…


OP, Christ’s Church is above politics and racial issues. The very first church above ethnic boundaries. Catholic means Universal, for all.


What is a ‘woke’ person?


No. This is not true. I am not Marxist. I am specifically referring to rejecting White supremacy in all it’s forms. Racially aware, Anti-Racist are other terms.


can the op please explain what he or she means by wokeness


I never heard of “wokeness” before but you can be pretty sure that if there’s a conflict between “wokeness” and the Church, the Church is right and “wokeness” is wrong.


See his post just a couple above yours.


still doesn’t explain it for an aussie


The teenagers say “woke”

It means like everybody else is stupid and a sheeple, but the woke person is all enlightened and stuff far above the unwashed masses

Or something


Here’s Urban Dictionary on “woke.”


I have to admit it is hard for me to take seriously someone who would describe themself as “woke”.

If you take it to mean, “read up more on past relations with minorities and learned things of which I was not previously aware”, there is always room to get MORE understanding of these complex situations. It is not a black-and-white status where if you do not agree with one view of oppression you are “unwoke” and if you do you are suddenly “woke”.


In this sense I mean that a person is aware of racial matters and what people of color experience in the world…

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