Rowan Williams, the Trial of Jesus, and #BlackLivesMatter

Joshua Paul Smith

Rowan Williams and Black Lives Matter

Last week I picked up a copy of Christ on Trial: How the Gospel Unsettles Our Judgment, by Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury. I’m only a few pages in, but already I’m finding the book eerily applicable with regard to the US’s ongoing racial crisis. Predating the Black Lives Matter movement by more than a decade and writing on a different continent, Williams draws attention to the same abuse of power being protested in the wake of the deaths of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, Freddie Gray, and Sandra Bland (among many, many others):

As Kafka said, it is as if we know we are guilty, but not what we are guilty of. We are going to die, but we are denied the satisfaction of knowing why.

This is where [the Gospel of] Mark’s trial scenes speak most eloquently to our own century, to the…

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