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

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Oxford University Press, 2000 - Religion - 212 pages
19 Reviews
Through a nationwide telephone survey of 2,000 people and an additional 200 face-to-face interviews, Michael O. Emerson and Christian Smith probed the grassroots of white evangelical America. They found that despite recent efforts by the movement's leaders to address the problem of racial discrimination, evangelicals themselves seem to be preserving America's racial chasm. In fact, most white evangelicals see no systematic discrimination against blacks. But the authors contend that it is not active racism that prevents evangelicals from recognizing ongoing problems in American society. Instead, it is the evangelical movement's emphasis on individualism, free will, and personal relationships that makes invisible the pervasive injustice that perpetuates racial inequality. Most racial problems, the subjects told the authors, can be solved by the repentance and conversion of the sinful individuals at fault.
Combining a substantial body of evidence with sophisticated analysis and interpretation, the authors throw sharp light on the oldest American dilemma. In the end, they conclude that despite the best intentions of evangelical leaders and some positive trends, real racial reconciliation remains far over the horizon.

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Well-researched, worth pondering. - Goodreads
Difficult to read, but excellent in provoking thought. - Goodreads
hard to read, hard to ignore. - Goodreads

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

User Review  - Amanda Himes - Goodreads

An upsetting but honest look at the race problem, or rather, the problematic and ineffective solutions to the race problem in America that contemporary white evangelicals offer. Well-researched, worth pondering. Read full review

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

User Review  - James Hansee - Goodreads

I was recommended this book by an African-American friend of mine. The book was tough to read emotionally because the authors get so much right. They do not offer solutions and in fact many of their ... Read full review


Religion and the Racialized Society
Confronting the BlackWhite Racial Divide
From Separate Pews to Separate Churches Evangelical Racial Thought and Practice 17001964
Becoming Active Contemporary Involvement in the American Dilemma
Color Blind Evangelicals Speak on the Race Problem
Controlling Ones Own Destiny Explaining Economic Inequality Between Blacks and Whites
Lets Be Friends Exploring Solutions to the Race Problem
The Organization of Religion and Internally Similar Congregations
Structurally Speaking Religion and Racialization
Appendix A
Appendix B

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About the author (2000)

Michael O. Emerson is the Tsanoff Professor of Public Affairs and Sociology at Rice University, the author of numerous articles on race relations and religion, and the co-author of United by Faith. He lives in Houston, Texas. Christian Smith is the Chapin Distinguished Professor of Sociology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and the author of American Evangelicalism and Christian America? What Evangelicals Really Want. He lives in Durham, North Carolina.

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