Divided by Faith

Divided by Faith : Evangelical Religion and the Problem of Race in America

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Description

The leaders of the American evangelical movement have brought their characteristic passion to the problem of race, notably in the Promise Keepers movement and in reconciliation theology. But the authors of this study reveal that despite their good intentions, evangelicals may actually be preserving America's racial chasm. In this text, the authors probe the grassroots of white evangelical America, through a nationwide telephone survey of 2000 people, along with 200 face-to-face interviews. The results of their research are surprising. Most white evangelicals, they learned, see no systematic discrimination against blacks, indeed, they deny the existence of any ongoing racial problem in the United States. Many of their subjects blamed the continuing talk of racial conflict on the media, unscrupulous black leaders, and the inability of African Americans to forget the past. The authors probe what lies behind this perception and conclude that evangelicals are not so much actively racist as committed to a theological view of the world that makes it difficult for them to see systematic injustice. This book is intended for people interested in race relations and the American religious scene.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 224 pages
  • 163.3 x 243.3 x 24.4mm | 552.39g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0195131401
  • 9780195131406

Review quote

"This path-breaking book is the best study in print on the racial attitudes of white evangelical Protestants. The book's unusual strength comes from its ability to combine a reliable summary of historical circumstances with careful attention to what evangelicals actually say and sensitive use of responsible sociological theory. The arguments of the book are made even more forceful by the willingness of Emerson and Smith to take the evangelicals' own theology seriously, especially where that theology calls into question standard patterns of evangelical racial practice."--Mark A. Noll, Professor of History, Wheaton CollegeThis is an important book. With thoughtful conceptual distinctions and careful analysis of data from a variety of empirical sources, Emerson and Smith provide an interesting account of how white evangelicals perpetuate the very racial divisions they publicly oppose. Divided by Faith breaks new ground in the study of religion and American race relations. --William Julius Wilson, Lewis P. and Linda L. Geyser University Professor, Harvard University"This path-breaking book is the best study in print on the racial attitudes of white evangelical Protestants. The book's unusual strength comes from its ability to combine a reliable summary of historical circumstances with careful attention to what evangelicals actually say and sensitive use of responsible sociological theory. The arguments of the book are made even more forceful by the willingness of Emerson and Smith to take the evangelicals' own theology seriously, especially where that theology calls into question standard patterns of evangelical racial practice."--Mark A. Noll, Professor of History, Wheaton Collegeshow more

About Michael O. Emerson

Michael O. Emerson is Associate Professor of Sociology at Rice University, the author of numerous articles on race relations and religion, and the co-editor of The Social Aspects of Religion in the US and Beyond. He lives in Houston, Texas. Christian Smith is Professor of Sociology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and is the author of American Evangelicalism and Christian America? What Evangelicals Really Want. He lives in Durham, North Carolina.show more

Rating details

704 ratings
4.1 out of 5 stars
5 39% (275)
4 40% (283)
3 15% (103)
2 4% (30)
1 2% (13)
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