Harrisburg, Pennsylvania – The “De-Colonizing Christ,” exhibit at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Cathedral was unveiled on September 11, and features a depiction of a Black Jesus Christ smoking a blunt.
St. Stephen’s Episcopal School, attached to the Cathedral, is an exclusive high-tuition private institution in Harrisburg for primary education grades pre-K through 8, located on Front Street downtown.
Rev. Dr. Amy Welin, dean of St. Stephen’s, arranged the exhibit in response the Black Lives Matter movement to offer other views of holiness – one in which Christ is a mélange of Black faces with a gold-haloed Afro, as described today by Joyce Davis in a PennLive editorial.
Rev. Welin believes people of darker hues are often depicted as evil and Satanic.
The exhibit also features a depiction of Mary as a Black Madonna with adoring child. Another image features an immigrant child grasping onto barbed wire.
According to Wilen in a piece published by PennLive in April 2021, “It has taken the Black Lives Matter movement to make white Christians ask ourselves some hard questions about the ways Christian churches have used the figure of a European Jesus to subtly support white supremacy, which undermines Jesus’ command for us to love and serve all our neighbors.”
“The pursuit of justice and peace among all people demands the exploration of ways in which we can de-colonize the Christ – releasing the image of Jesus from the legacy of white supremacy and portraying Jesus as he actually was,” Wilen wrote.
St. Stephen’s “De-Colonizing Christ” confronts racism among those who profess to be holy – By Joyce Davis – PennLive, September 2021