This book examines the relationship between race, religion, and economics within the black church. The book features unheard voices of individuals experiencing economic deprivation and the faith communities who serve as their refuge. Thus, this project examines the economic ethics of black churches in the rural South whose congregants and broader communities have long struggled amidst persistent poverty. Through a case study of communities in Alabama's Black Belt, this book argues that if the economic ethic of the Black Church remains accommodationist, it will continue to become increasingly irrelevant to communities that experience persistent poverty. Despite its historic role in combatting racial oppression and social injustice, the Church has also perpetuated ideologies that uncritically justify unjust social structures. Wilson shows how the Church can shift the conversation and reality of poverty by moving from a legacy of accommodationism and toward a legacy of empowering liberating economic ethics.
What is the true nature and mission of the church? Is its proper Christian purpose to save souls, or to transform the social order? This question is especially fraught when the church is one built by an enslaved people and formed, from its beginning, at the center of an oppressed community’s fight for personhood and freedom. Such is the central tension in the identity and mission of the black church in the United States. For decades the black church and black theology have held each other at arm’s length. Black theology has emphasized the role of Christian faith in addressing racism and other forms of oppression, arguing that Jesus urged his disciples to seek the freedom of all peoples. Meanwhile, the black church, even when focused on social concerns, has often emphasized personal piety rather than social protest. With the rising influence of white evangelicalism, biblical fundamentalism, and the prosperity gospel, the divide has become even more pronounced. In The Divided Mind of the Black Church, Raphael G. Warnock, Senior Pastor of the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, the spiritual home of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., traces the historical significance of the rise and development of black theology as an important conversation partner for the black church. Calling for honest dialogue between black and womanist theologians and black pastors, this fresh theological treatment demands a new look at the church’s essential mission.
Home and family are key, yet relatively unexplored, dimensions of religion in the contemporary United States. American cultural lore is replete with images of saintly nineteenth-century American mothers and their children. During the twentieth century, however, the form and function of the American family have changed radically, and religious beliefs have evolved under the challenges of modernity. As these transformations took place, how did religion manage to "fit" into modern family life? In this book, Margaret Lamberts Bendroth examines the lives and beliefs of white, middle-class mainline Protestants (principally northern Presbyterians, Baptists, Methodists, and Congregationalists) who are theologically moderate or liberal. Mainliners have pursued family issues for most of the twentieth century, churning out hundreds of works on Christian childrearing. Bendroth's book explores the role of family within a religious tradition that sees itself as America's cultural center. In this balanced analysis, the author traces the evolution of mainliners' roles in middle-class American culture and sharpens our awareness of the ways in which the mainline Protestant experience has actually shaped and reflected the American sense of self.
Readings in African-American Women's Religious Biography
Author: Judith Weisenfeld
Publisher: Psychology Press
Category: Biography & Autobiography
This is a collection of biographies of many women, including gospel singers, black nuns, preachers, missionaries and civil-rights workers. These biographies look at the history and experiences of African American women, in relation to their spirituality and activities in organized religion. Main topics include the bias against women by the male leadership of the Black Church, the racism and sexism of mainstream religions, the relationship between spirituality and activism, and the outside-of-church ways in which women are involved in religion. The book ranges from the period of slavery to the present day, and profiles figures such as Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, Willie Mae Ford Smith and Ella Baker, exploring the role that religious institutions, artistic forms and impulses played in their lives.
Pastoral Care for African American Families Experiencing Abuse
Author: Toinette M. Eugene
Balm for Gilead expands our understanding of the role of the Black Church as an agent of care and reconciliation for African American families experiencing the results of child and domestic abuse. Crossing the disciplinary boundaries of pastoral care, theology, and ethics, this book provides a major examination of core issues of family violence. The authors maintain that the contemporary Black Church must provide more extensive professional and ethical training and education for its pastoral care givers through a multisystems approach to effective forms of ministry for African American families. Using case studies from individuals who have experienced abuse or who struggle with the reality of domestic violence, Balm for Gilead identifies and explores theological and ethical themes that are crucial for understanding and revitalizing the pastoral care of African American families who suffer because of child and domestic abuse. Illuminating the dynamics of abuse in these families, and challenging the silence and helplessness surrounding their pain, this cross-cultural work will have a profound effect on all whose lives have been touched by this social and personal evil. Balm for Gilead is indispensable for pastoral leaders whose ministry and profession is often the only hope of healing and reconciliation available or acceptable of African American families.