Associate Professor of Theology
Office: Alexander Hall
Education: BA, Houghton College, 1997; MTS, Duke University, 2002; PhD, Duke University, 2009. At SPU since 2009.
Dr. Brian Bantum teaches courses in University Foundations and the theology major as well as Seattle Pacific Seminary. His teaching and research focuses on the intersection of theology and identity, exploring how the claims of Christian identity are illumined and challenged by the realities of race, ethnicity, and gender.
Dr. Bantum's first book, Redeeming Mulatto: A Theology of Race and Christian Hybridity (Baylor University Press, 2010) explored how black, mixed race identity illumines how race shapes us and re-imagines Christian discipleship through Christ's body as both human and divine, a union of flesh and divinity that remakes the lives of disciples into a new people, a holy "mixture" of flesh and Spirit. His second book, The Death of Race: Building a New Christianity in a Racial World (Fortress Press, 2016) offers the church ways of re-imagining Christian claims regarding humanity, human fallenness, and Christ's work in light of modern race and racism. In addition to serving on the editorial board of the Journal of Theology and Literature, Dr. Bantum is a regular contributor to The Christian Century and has published numerous articles and chapters in academic journals and popular magazines.
Brian Bantum comes to Seattle Pacific after spending 10 years in Durham, N.C., with his wife, Gail, and three children. Dr. Bantum received his PhD in theology from Duke University and a master's of theological studies from the Divinity School at Duke University. After nine years, his acclimation to the Pacific Northwest is almost complete and he can now be found at local coffee shops with a book in hand, or riding his bike along the canal on sunny summer days.
Redeeming Mulatto: A Theology of Race and Christian Hybridity
Baylor University Press, 2010
"[M]ulatto/a bodies allow us to look upon the life of Christ anew and grasp the depth of his work more profoundly. Through the fissures of discourse that render 'mixed' possible we can see Christ’s own life as the ground of this peculiar personhood, even as he is its salvation." (83)
The Death of Race: Building a New Christianity in a Racial World
Fortress Press, 2016
In The Death of Race, Bantum argues that our attempts to heal racism will not succeed until we address what gives rise to racism in the first place: a fallen understanding of our bodies that sees difference as something to resist, defeat, or subdue. Therefore, he examines the question of race, but through the lens of our bodies and what our bodies mean in the midst of a complicated, racialized world, one that perpetually dehumanizes dark bodies, thereby rendering all of us less than God’s intention.
- “Black Theology or Black Religion? Discipleship as a Theological Method” in Black Theology: An International Journal, Vol. 8, No. 2, 2010.
- “Why Christians Can’t be Post-Racial: Christian Existence in the Murky Waters of Race and Place” in The Other Journal" 16, August 17, 2009.
Please view Dr. Bantum's CV (PDF) for additional publications.