Friday, June 17, 2011

Jesus Christ and Ethnicity

Dear Friends,

While I was in Rwanda and DR Congo, I enjoyed very much my time with many passionately faithful Quaker Christian families.  Later during my visit I became concerned by the obviously Western-European ethnicity of all the Christian imagery: Jesus, the disciples, Mary, etc.

So since my return last month, I have looked over the internet for a few hours to see what's out there.  The upshot for me is that the ethnicity of Christian icons is a serious issue, and that moving forward I will personally prefer to employ multi-ethnic images to represent Christianity whenever possible.

In addition to wikipedia articles, here are my favorite links from my internet review:

 - Short Story, "The Boy Who Painted Christ Black"  by John Henrik Clarke, 1940
 - Painting of "Jesus Blesses the Children" by Joe Cauchi (Late 1900s artist from USA)

 - Painting of "Madonna and Child" by Joe Cauchi

 - Popular Mechanics article  - A British medical artist applies forensic anthropology using a 1st century skull from near Jerusalem, etc. to reconstruct a historical "Christ-like" face.

Thanks for your interest, please respond with your thoughts, and let me know if you have any difficulty accessing the documents.  

-Steven Bhardwaj


StevenBhardwaj said...

Some beautiful pan-Native American Christian images here:

StevenBhardwaj said...

And another here:

StevenBhardwaj said...

Spotted a framed Black Jesus (with flowing straight hair) in the MiniMax on Knickerbocker Ave, Bushwick Brooklyn.