Divided by Faith: Evangelical Religion and the Problem of Race in America
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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Review: Divided by Faith: Evangelical Religion and the Problem of Race in AmericaUser Review - Chelsey Hillyer - Goodreads
A great book for understanding how Christianity became shorthand for white supremacy in the United States. Must-read for liberal-progressive Christians who are committed to social justice, as it gives perspective on how embedded androcentrism is in US Christianity (and Christendom, really). Read full review
Review: Divided by Faith: Evangelical Religion and the Problem of Race in AmericaUser Review - Ian Hammond - Goodreads
A diagnosis but not a detailed prescription. The diagnosis: the evangelical mind construes racism as a purely individualized problem (absent of institutional problems) and thus contributes to the ... Read full review
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