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Richard Hughes Book Signing: Myths America Lives By

Sunday, February 17, 2019 7:00 PM

Beaman Library

Lipscomb University's College of Bible and Ministry and Beaman Library in partnership with Parnassus Books is hosting a lecture and book signing with Richard Hughes, author of Myths America Lives By: White Supremacy and the Stories That Give us Meaning, on Sunday, Feb. 17 in the Beaman Library.

"Most Americans are quick to condemn white supremacist organizations of every stripe. But few seem to discern the deeper problem we must address before we can rid ourselves of racism and racist behavior. That deeper problem is the topic of this book--the extent to which white supremacy has defined us all." — Richard T. Hughes, Scholar-in-Residence at Lipscomb University

This book is the second edition of Myths America Lives By, a revision that Hughes was inspired to write by comments made by James Noel, a professor of African American Christianity and American religion at San Francisco Theological Seminary.
After Hughes made a presentation on the first edition of his book, which looked at the five national myths, Noel told Hughes that he had left out the most important of all the American myths: the myth of white supremacy.
Through Hughes felt skeptical at first, that notion soon became the fuel for Hughes to research and write the second edition, 15 years after the first book was released. He researched the book in part thanks to an institutional research grant from Lipscomb University.
“I began to see that even whites like me–whites who strongly reject racist ideology–can escape the power of the white supremacist myth only with extraordinary effort, if at all,” said Hughes. “That is because assumptions of white supremacy are like the very air we breathe: they surround us, envelope us, and shape us, but do so in ways we seldom discern.”
The six myths discussed in the revision, from a historical approach are, in Hughes’ words, the myth of the chosen nation, nature’s nation, the Christian nation, the millennial nation, the innocent nation and the myth of white supremacy.
The revision argues that the myth of white supremacy is the primary myth that informs all the other myths.
“To be Jesus disciples, we must listen to what marginalized people tell us. This book does that. It listens to black voices,” Hughes said. “If we have been called to lift up marginalized voices, we’ve got to listen to them.”
Hughes has spent more than 48 years working at the intersection of religion and American culture, specializing in religion and American identity, religion and race in America, religion and American higher education, the history and identity of Churches of Christ and the role of Christian primitivism in American life.
He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Harding University, his Master of Arts from Abilene Christian and his Ph.D. from the University of Iowa. He taught at Pepperdine, Southwest Missouri State, Abilene Christian University, Messiah College and is currently at Lipscomb University.
Hughes has published 18 books including Christian America and the Kingdom of God, Reviving the Ancient Faith: The Story of Churches of Christ in America and How Christian Faith Can Sustain the Life of the Mind.