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Divided by Faith: Evangelical Religion and the Problem of Race in America Paperback – 2001
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
The book is based on the first author's doctoral dissertation and follows that format... It presents the problem, namely that white evangelical Christians have a long-standing relationship with race in America and that America remains racialized (a term explained in the book). Given the recent trend among white evangelicals to do `something' about the race problem, Emerson and Smith are interested in two things: (1) How do white evangelicals really feel about race and racism in America? (2) What are white evangelicals really doing about it, if anything?
The authors then employ a number of methods to answer this question, including analyzing survey data and conducting extensive interviews with hundreds of white evangelicals. These data are presented in the middle few chapters of the book. The conclusion is best summarized by the authors, "Despite devoting considerable time and energy to solving the problem of racial division, white evangelicalism likely does more to perpetuate the racialized society than to reduce it" (p. 170).
Before I offer some criticisms of the book, let me begin by saying that this is an excellent text. It is clearly written and presents a persuasive argument (though the argument isn't without its problems). The authors have done their best to minimize sociological jargon and, when it isn't possible to avoid it, they clearly define the terms they use. The authors also employ a variety of theoretical constructs (the cultural tool kit is probably the clearest), simplified for an educated lay-audience, based in the current literature on the sociology of religion.Read more ›
One of the essential tenets of this book is their concept of "racialization" and how it differs in scope and functionality from what we would typically call "racism." If for no other reason, this book should be read just for that section alone. It would help many many people on both sides of the racial divide understand our collective experiences.
The risk of gross oversimplification prevents me from going much deeper into their arguments, because part of what makes the book so compelling is the methodical manner in which contemporary ideas are broken down. Absent from this book is any of the sentimentalist grandstanding that some social activists resort to when their work cannot speak for itself.
All in all, this book is dope. I'm feelin' it big time.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A good book for understanding the need for prioritizing reconciliation and adaptation.Published 2 months ago by Peggy A. Reynoso
This book really helped me understand the powerfully complex perspective of my Caucasians counterparts. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Jack
Divided by Faith reveals the extent to which American Protestantism is profoundly segregated. Through dozens of interviews, Smith and Emerson show that most white Protestants are... Read morePublished 7 months ago by J. Laurence
Divided By Faith started out strong but I believe there are some significant holes in their research and conclusions. Read morePublished 7 months ago by April Gibbs
Great Book to learn from and help us see Christ all around the worldPublished 11 months ago by Timothy R