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The ancestor's blind spot: On race, science and Christian thought.


We need to think about science as a practice of a specific type of history. When it gives us a story about where we come from, it is giving us a version of our historical past, but that version is a flat past. It's a very un-nuanced account of our diversity. What we need to compliment this are more robust social histories that fill in the details of what we think we can say about our genetic story.

Historian Terence Keel explores the pre-modern Christian origins of modern racial thought - from the 'God in nature' that scientists still bring with them into their explorations of race and human diversity, to the ways empiricism blind us from the historical and cultural context of scientific inquiry - and argues for a deeper questioning of our stories about ourselves.

Terence is author of Divine Variations: How Christian Thought Became Racial Science from Stanford University Press.

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Terence Keel

Terence Keel is Assistant Professor of History and Black Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara.


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