Christians and the Color Line: Race and Religion after Divided by Faith

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9780199329502: Christians and the Color Line: Race and Religion after Divided by Faith

Christians and the Color Line analyzes the complex entanglement of race and religion in the United States. Drawing on historical and contemporary examples of racialized religion, the essays in this volume consider the problem of race both in Christian congregations and in American society as a whole.
Belying the notion that a post-racial America has arrived, congregations in the US are showing an unprecedented degree of interest in overcoming the deep racial divisions that exist within American Protestantism. In one recent poll, for instance, nearly 70 percent of church leaders expressed a strong desire for their congregations to become racially and culturally diverse. To date, reality has eluded this professed desire as fewer than 10 percent of American Protestant churches have actually achieved multiracial status.
Employing innovative research from sociology, history, philosophy, and religious studies, the contributors to this volume use Michael Emerson and Christian Smith's groundbreaking study Divided by Faith (Oxford, 2000) as their starting point to acknowledge important historical, sociological, and theological causations for racial divisions in Christian communities. Collectively, however, these scholars also offer constructive steps that Christians of all races might take to overcome the color line and usher in a new era of cross-racial engagement.

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About the Author:


J. Russell Hawkins is Assistant Professor of Humanities and History in the John Wesley Honors College at Indiana Wesleyan University. His research interests cover the intersection of race, evangelical religion, and politics in recent American history.

Phillip Luke Sinitiere is Professor of History at the College of Biblical Studies, a multiethnic school located in Houston's culturally rich Mahatma Gandhi District. A scholar of American religion and culture, he is co-author of Holy Mavericks: Evangelical Innovators and the Spiritual Marketplace (2009). With Amy Helene Kirschke he edited Protest and Propaganda: W. E. B. Du Bois, The Crisis, and American History (2013).

Review:


"Christians and the Color Line does a fantastic job in advancing the conversation and provoking more critical thought."--Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion


"The essays in Christians and the Color Line are challenging responses to Michael O. Emerson and Christian Smith's Divided by Faith: Evangelical Religion and the Problem of Race in America. The wide-ranging and interdisciplinary perspectives found in this book have enriched my understanding of how religious faith intertwines with race, ethnic identity, socio-economic class, family, and region in contemporary American society." --Randal Maurice Jelks, author of Benjamin Elijah Mays, Schoolmaster of the Movement: A Biography


"Divided by Faith fundamentally shifted our national conversation on race. If Christian America now seeks to confront the problem of race, it is due to this singular book. Christians and the Color Line not only explains the significance of a pivotal book in American history, it provides a series of incisive analyses on the continuing challenge of the racial divide and our stumbling attempts to overcome it. As a comprehensive assessment of the religious history of our racial segregation and the prospects for truly integrating our nation's churches, this multi-voiced volume reveals the subtle yet powerful sociological and historical forces perpetuating the racial divide. It will take a long time for us to follow through on the agenda for research and practice provided in these pages." --Gerardo Marti, author of Worship across the Racial Divide


"...Christians and the Color Line is a valuable addition to the scholarship on race and evangelicalism, serving as a helpful marker on the evolution of research in the years following the work of Emerson and Smith." --Sociology of Religion


"The contributors to Christians and the Color Line have written in a clear and accessible style for the non-specialist, and the editors should be congratulated. Importantly... this book expands the consideration of race to include Asian American and Hispanic Christians. This solid collection of essays contains some real gems; it is a significant and useful for anyone interested in the history and sociology of race and religion in the United States." --The Journal of Southern Religion


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