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

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2013-11-06
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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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.

Author Biography

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 modern American history.

Phillip Luke Sinitiere is Associate 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 100 Years of Crisis: The NAACP's Magazine in American History and Culture.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Michael O. Emerson

J. Russell Hawkins & Phillip Luke Sinitiere

Chapter One
"Neoevangelicalism and the Problem of Race in Postwar America"
Miles S. Mullin, II

Chapter Two
"Healing the Mystical Body: Catholic Attempts to Overcome the Racial Divide in Chicago, 1930-1948"
Karen Joy Johnson

Chapter Three
"'Glimmers of Hope': Progressive Evangelicals and Racism, 1965-2000"
Brantley W. Gasaway

Chapter Four
"'Buttcheek to Buttcheek in the Pew': Interracial Relationalism in a Mennonite Congregation, 1957-2010"
Tobin Miller Shearer

Chapter Five
"Still Divided by Faith? Evangelical Religion and the Problem of Race in America, 1977-2010"
Ryon J. Cobb

Chapter Six
"Worshipping to Stay the Same: Avoiding the Local to Maintain Solidarity"
Mark T. Mulder

Chapter Seven
"Beyond Body Counts: Sex, Individualism, and the Segregated Shape of Twentieth-Century Evangelicalism"
Edward J. Blum

Chapter Eight
"Color-Conscious Structure-Blind Assimilation: How Asian American Christians Can Unintentionally Maintain the Racial Divide"
Jerry Z. Park

Chapter Nine
"Knotted Together: Identity and Community in a Multiracial Church"
Erica Ryu Wong

Chapter Ten
"Much Ado About Nothing? Rethinking the Efficacy of Multiracial Churches for Racial Reconciliation"
Korie L. Edwards

Theological Afterword
"The Call to Blackness in American Christianity"
Darryl Scriven

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