God and Race in American Politics: A Short History by Mark A. Noll

By Mark A. Noll

Religion has been a robust political strength all through American historical past. while race enters the combo the consequences were a few of our best triumphs as a nation--and a few of our such a lot shameful disasters. during this vital e-book, Mark Noll, the most influential historians of yankee faith writing this present day, strains the explosive political results of the non secular intermingling with race.

Noll demonstrates how supporters and rivals of slavery and segregation drew both at the Bible to justify the morality in their positions. He exhibits how a typical evangelical background supported Jim Crow discrimination and contributed powerfully to the black theology of liberation preached through Martin Luther King Jr. In probing such connections, Noll takes readers from the 1830 slave rebellion of Nat Turner via Reconstruction and the lengthy Jim Crow period, from the civil rights circulation of the Fifties and Sixties to "values" vote casting in contemporary presidential elections. He argues that the best changes in American political historical past, from the Civil warfare during the civil rights revolution and past, represent an interconnected narrative within which opposing appeals to Biblical fact gave upward thrust to often-contradictory spiritual and ethical complexities. And he exhibits how this history continues to be alive this present day in controversies surrounding stem-cell examine and abortion in addition to civil rights reform.

God and Race in American Politics is a wide ranging background that unearths the profound function of faith in American political background and in American discourse on race and social justice.

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As soon as the war was over, another kind of ecclesiastical organizing took place as former slaves began to establish new denominations—in 1865 the Colored Primitive Baptists of America; in 1866 a state convention for Baptists in North Carolina; in 1869 the Colored Cumberland Presbyterian Church; in 1870 the first general convention of the 50 c h a p t e r t wo Colored Methodist Episcopal Church that pulled together the work of five state conventions and witnessed the ordination of W. H. Miles and R.

43 From the South, similar professions—though with the object of God’s favor reversed—could be heard until very near the end. In the issue of the Army and Navy Messenger for the Trans-Mississippi Department published on March 16, 1865, for example, a die-hard held fast to his faith: “It is not often in the history of the world that such great crises, 44 chapter one involving the very fundamental elements of truth, conscience, and manhood, are allowed by Divine Providence to occur. Such was the position of the Hebrew nation in the midst of the Gentile world; such was the position of the martyr church of Christ.

The significance of that history was almost universally obscured as it was taking place; only after the unfolding of the civil rights movement has the great national importance of postbellum black history—indeed, of postbellum black ecclesiastical history—begun to be realized. Even now, at this late date, the importance of what transpired in the black churches (from 1865 to 1925) for what transpired in the whole nation (from 1954 to 1968) has never received its due. This chapter makes a beginning by arguing for that importance.

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