Friday, 30 April 2010

Christianity & Oppression in Literature: Alice Walker

From Alice Walker's novel, The Temple of My Familiar:

"My father, Samuel, was a missionary also, but by the time we returned to America he had long since lost his faith; not in the spiritual teachings of Jesus, the prophet and human being, but in Christianity as a religion of conquest and domination inflicted on other peoples … We had all begun to see, in Africa – where people worshipped many things, including the roofleaf plant, which they used to cover their houses – that “God” was not a monolith, and not the property of Moses, as we’d been led to think, and not separate from us, or absent from whatever world one inhabited. Once this channel was cleared, so to speak, much that our people had been taught about religion, much that diminished them and kept them in oppression, would naturally fall away. It was so hard for the Africans, in this new religion we brought, to ever feel “God” loved them, for instance; whereas in the traditional religions they practiced they took this more or less for granted."

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