“Power is tolerable only on condition that it mask a substantial part of itself. Its success is proportional to its ability to hide its own mechanisms. -Michel Foucault
”Nothing has been a better visual aid for Critical Race Theory than the hysterical knee jerk reaction of some white people at the prospect of having a light shined on the hidden structures of racism in U.S. law and history.
To my knowledge, the phrase “critical theory” was born in the Frankfurt School as a way of unmasking the power equations hidden in seemingly objective studies like law, history and literature.
The point, as I understand it, was to use humanity as the measure of institutions, not institutions as the measure of human beings. So the “critical” aspect of theory was to measure how social structures worked for the freedom of real human beings, or for their oppression.
I am just realizing that my life’s work has been an attempt to discover a Critical Religion Theory. Instead of using religion as the measure of human beings, religion is to be judged by whether it sets people free, or justifies their oppression. Instead of being an excuse for cultural privilege, religion is to be judged by its service to ALL humanity, or the lack thereof. Instead of being a safe haven for unexamined beliefs, religion should be judged by whether it calls people INTO a shared world or OUT of it.