Date of Award


Access Restriction

Research Projects

Degree Name

Master of Arts



School or College

Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts

First Advisor

Brett C. Hoover


This project examines the history of racism in relation to the Catholic Church. This history amounts to an indictment of the Roman Catholic Church not only as a neutral party in the historical emergence of white supremacy, but a directly linked cause of racism. First, it describes how racism emerged in its modern manifestation in three major dimensions which include the geopolitical, economic, and social. Then, it centers on two general forms of analysis, a cultural analysis, and a philosophical analysis. Drawing on insights from Liberation Theology, various themes are highlighted as they apply to the discussion of race in the U.S. as well as a condemnation of white Christianity. The key argument is that if the good of religion is community, then its opposite is the disintegration of community. In responding to this disintegration, the pastoral proposal suggests that the church's liberative work is the essential work of mission.