Blacks and Whites in Christian America
How Racial Discrimination Shapes Religious Convictions
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: NYU Press
Title Page, Copyright
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Religion and race differences have remained major sources of conflict since our nation’s founding. Not only were there profound religious tensions among the early European settlers, but also between them, African slaves, and Native Americans. ...
1. Why Do African Americans Pray So Often?
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Long before we got serious about writing this book, we had concluded that black Christians more often publicly display their religious faith than white Christians do. Two observations shaped our beliefs about this. First, we stopped counting the number of times that we had seen a black athlete, actor, or musician give glory to God ...
2. So Rooted a Past: Slavery and African American Protestant Religious Tradition
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Human recovery from the grip of oppression is a messy affair.1 Suffering leads people of faith to ask difficult questions about God. Questions about black Christian faith have always necessitated an understanding of African American experiences, including slavery, segregation, and the prevailing systemic issues ...
3. The Apostles’ Creed: Racial Similarities in Commitments to Core Christian Tenets
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For nearly 2,000 years, Christians (especially in the Western tradition) across places, denominations, and cultures have subscribed to the Apostles’ Creed. The creed exists in two forms; a shorter and longer version. The shorter version, often called the Old Roman Form, can be traced back as far as 140 AD. ...
4. Learning and Burning: Racial Differences in “Academic” versus “Experiential” Models of Christianity
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Th e preceding chapter showed that black and white Protestants are similarly steadfastly committed to core Christian theological tenets — those specifically referenced in the Apostles’ Creed. However, that does not mean that there are not profound differences between blacks and whites in their identification with and understanding of Christianity. ...
5. Religious Convictions: Everyday Faith-Based Actions and Beliefs
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In this chapter, we build on our theoretical framework for understanding racial differences in religious sensibilities. Our goals are twofold. First, we continue our analysis of the Experiential building block of black Protestant faith by explaining how the African American Protestant religious tradition is active and experiential. ...
6. Shaded Morality: Not So Black and White
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Sherita Wilson, a 37-year-old African American woman, has been working as a mail clerk at her local south-Atlanta-based post office for 12 years. Th e mother of three children aged 13 to 17, she has been divorced officially for 10 years, but her husband disappeared 13 years ago, ...
7. Far-Reaching Faith: Evidence of an Inclusive Religious Doctrine
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Beginning with this chapter, we expand our investigation beyond widely recognized domains of Christianity. While some of the topics that we examine are closely associated with Christianity (such as beliefs about angels and miracles), others are typically not associated with Christianity ...
8. Reconciling the Race Problem: Identity Politics and the Gulf between Black and White Protestants
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In this final chapter, we turn our attention to beliefs among black and white Protestants that seemingly have little to do with religion at all. However, things are not always what they seem. In fact, it will soon become apparent that various dimensions of identity politics ...
Epilogue: The Race Problem and Beloved Community
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The findings presented in this book are clear: black and white Protestants often think about and practice Christianity in vastly dissimilar ways. Results from our survey and in-depth interview data show that racial group membership strongly influences how black and white Protestants go about their religious faith. ...
Appendix A: Sampling Procedures / Sample Characteristics
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Appendix B: Descriptive Tables
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Appendix C: Interview Guides
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About the Authors
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Jason E. Shelton is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Texas at Arlington. He publishes research on the sociology of religion as well as the impact of social class and cultural differences among African Americans in the post – Civil Rights Era. ...
Page Count: 290
Publication Year: 2012