"A powerful and groundbreaking book. . . . [Blum and Harvey] masterfully probe how a sacred icon can be a tool at once of racial oppression and liberation. A must-read for those interested in American religious history, this book will forever change the way you look at images of Jesus."
"A detailed engagement with contentious subject matter. Religion, politics, and race are often taboo conversation topics, especially in mixed company. But this work is neither shy nor pretentious about bringing all three subjects into conversation."
-Reggie L. Williams, Journal of Southern Religion
"Blum and Harvey's book should be in the running for several awards, if nothing else for documenting a central dynamic in American religious experience. [It] serves as a good model for future research into messianism and American culture and politics."
-Darren E. Grem, Journal of Southern Religion
"A tremendous resource for teachers seeking to educate students about the myriad movements in the U.S. that have taken Jesus' name and image, as well as general readers seeking a lively introduction to the topic."
-Laurie F. Maffly-Kipp, Journal of Southern Religion
"A work that highlights Indian voices more effectively than almost any synthesizing work in the field."
-Jennifer Graber, Journal of Southern Religion
"[A] compelling study. . . . This work will captivate readers of American religious and racial history."
"Blum and Harvey have produced a rich and readable narrative that begins with the Puritans and concludes with Jesus in the age of Obama."
"This model of academic inquiry and analysis is clearly written, deeply researched, socially engaged, ambitious in the intellectual scope of its questions about race and religion, and methodical in its answers."
-A Publishers Weekly
Best Book of 2012
Starred Review and 2013 Top 10 Black History Nonfiction
"A fascinating story that we cannot afford to ignore."
-Books & Culture
"An insightful, historical opus delivering a sobering message about how we all might have been harmed, physically, by the generally-accepted image of the Messiah."
"Sweeping in scope. . . . A fascinating read for anyone interested in the power of sacred art to deform or transform society."
-Sacred Art Pilgrim
"Brings the story of religion and race in American history to life. . . . The Color of Christ
is a valuable contribution to our understanding of race and religion and would be of value to anyone interested in the topic of religion and race."
"We are indebted to Blum and Harvey for their effort to unearth and reveal this picture of American encounters with the images of Jesus. . . . This is an extremely powerful book. . . . A must read."
-Ponderings on a Faith Journey
Book of the Year 2012
"A solid contribution to the conversation on religion and race in U.S. history. . . . The American Christian community remains trapped within a web of racial hierarchies, flawed theological assumptions and dangerous patriarchal precedents that continue to inform Christian doctrine and liturgy. The best way to treat an illness is to begin by discovering its root causes. The Color of Christ
does just that."
"The authors' breadth of research is impressive, and their incorporation of material culture is a model for future scholarship."
-Journal of American History
"[The Color of Christ
is] an eye-opening look at how not just the image but also the idea of Christ has shifted within varying communities and schools of thought throughout American history."
"An engaging and sympathetic piece of scholarship that will appeal to a wide audience. It will be a significant contribution to many literatures, including those that consider European and American Christianity, constructions of race, and race relations."-North Carolina Historical Review
"In The Color of Christ
, two of our finest historians track the changing portrayals of Jesus in American life against the vicissitudes of history, especially the troubled waters of race relations. In so doing, they have produced both a splendid book as well as a unique perspective on American religious history. This is not the first study of the images of Christ in American history, but it is indisputably the best."--Randall Balmer, Dartmouth College
"Blum and Harvey are two of the most talented scholars of race and religion in the United States, and this pathbreaking book reflects their ability to integrate important historical analysis with beautiful and compelling narrative. The Color of Christ
brilliantly draws on original research, the latest scholarship, and popular culture to transform the ways that we see Jesus past and present."--Matthew Avery Sutton, author of Aimee Semple McPherson and the Resurrection of Christian America
"Both finely wrought interpretation and sweeping synthesis, The Color of Christ
lays bare the racial transformations, political challenges, and deep ironies embodied in the image of Jesus. Edward Blum and Paul Harvey offer a compelling new view of race, religion, iconography. . .and America itself."--Philip J. Deloria, Carroll Smith-Rosenberg Collegiate Professor of History and American Studies, University of Michigan
"A sweeping study with a bold argument, clear style, and narrative power. Blum and Harvey explore how white Americans remade Jesus into a white icon and, at the same time, they delve into the contested nature of Jesus, with many groups finding their own meanings in him. This book is one of surprises, covering new ground and inviting readers to keep reading to see what new configurations of Jesus will take place around such major events as wars, economic depressions, social justice movements, and theological movements."--Charles Reagan Wilson, Kelly Gene Cook Sr. Chair in History and Professor of Southern Studies at the University of Mississippi
"Edward Blum and Paul Harvey have produced an original, impressive, and eye-opening work--as compelling in its vivid detail as it is astonishing in its immense historical sweep. The Color of Christ
sets a new standard and establishes a new starting point for anyone interested in the intersection of race and religiosity in the United States. An illuminating study, for which we will long be indebted."--Matthew Frye Jacobson, author of Whiteness of a Different Color: European Immigrants and the Alchemy of Race
"The refreshing and engaging story of how the concept of white Jesus was appropriated and used by Americans of all ethnicities to support their cultural, social, and religious intentions. Blum and Harvey's solid historical writing and deft use of material culture and media bring a fresh viewpoint to the subject of race and religion in America."--Anthea Butler, author of Women in the Church of God in Christ: Making a Sanctified World
"Edward Blum and Paul Harvey's masterful book is a breath of fresh air in our toxic religious culture of learned ignorance and unlearned bigotry."--Cornel West
"In starkly poetic prose, this book takes a seemingly simple idea--examine evolving depictions of Jesus in America--and delivers punch after punch. Blum and Harvey provide a new, paradigm-changing window into the issues of race, religion, and power. Anyone wanting to grasp the depth of religion and race in the United States needs this book. It will transform what you thought you knew."--Michael O. Emerson, Rice University, author of Divided by Faith: Evangelical Religion and the Problem of Race in America