Fugitive Saints: Catholicism and the Politics of Slavery

Front Cover
Fortress Press, Apr 1, 2017 - Religion - 204 pages
0 Reviews
Reviews aren't verified, but Google checks for and removes fake content when it's identified

How should the Catholic church remember the sins of its saints? This question proves particularly urgent in the case of those saints who were canonized due to their relation to black slavery. Today, many of their racial virtues seem like racial vices. In this way, the church celebrates Peter Claver, a seventeenth-century Spanish missionary to Colombia, as “the saint of the slave trade,” and extols Martín de Porres as the patron saint of mixed race people. But in truth, their sainthoods have upheld anti-blackness much more than they have undermined it. Habituated by anti-blackness, the church has struggled to perceive racial holiness accurately. In the ongoing cause to canonize Pierre Toussaint, a Haitian-born former slave, the church continues to enact these bad racial habits. This book proposes black fugitivity, as both a historical practice and an interpretive principle, to be a strategy by which the church can build new hagiographical habits. Rather than searching inside itself for racial heroes, the church should learn to celebrate those black fugitives who sought refuge outside of it.  


What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.


Sainthood and Historical Memory
Clavers Ministry for Slaveocracy
Claver as RaceMaking Ally of Antiblackness Supremacy
The Racialized Humility of Peter Claver
Reconsidering Claver from Below
The Racialized Humility of Saint Martín de Porres
Catholic Sainthood and the Afterlife of Slavery
Venerable Pierre Toussaint and the Search for Fugitive Saints
Toward a Fugitive Hagiography

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2017)

Katie Walker Grimes is assistant professor of theology and religious studies at Villanova University. She has published articles on the relation of white supremacy and the Catholic Church in Political Theology and Horizons, and has articles in the Journal of Religious Ethics. She is a regular contributing author to the blog, Women in Theology.

Bibliographic information