Race And Ethnicity

Biblical or Social Constructs

  • Samson Iliya
Keywords: biblical, ethnicity, race, social construct, theology


Race and ethnicity are gifts of identity in global society. On the contrary, racism and ethnocentrism are perennial threats to the identity of human existence, equality, societal development, and national and international relations. The onus of this article focuses on whether race and ethnicity are Biblical or social constructs. The approach used in this paper is dialectic in nature. This approach is used to affirm that racial and ethnic diversities are gifts from God that beautify our communal identity, but it also confirms that racism and ethnocentrism are equally evil dispositions of humanity towards other races and ethnic groups. Thus, the paper provides a theological response to the problem of racism and ethnocentrism in the church and society, using the Christo-creation framework to refute racism and ethnocentrism. Thus, any societal or religious stratification that prioritises one racial, ethnic, or gender supremacy over others is evil. This article argues that racial and ethnic superiority over others is not a Biblical structure but a socio-cultural construct and pseudoscientific stereotype that devalues other racial groups. This article concludes that peoples’ worth, value, dignity, and sanctity of life should not be based on racial and ethnic phenotypical categorisation. Instead, it should be based on the universality of God’s image in human beings as the common point of convergence so as to end the global spiral of racism and ethnocentrism.