New Day Begun: African American Churches and Civic Culture in Post-Civil Rights America
Bennett, James, Journal of Church and State
New Day Begun: African American Churches and Civic Culture in Post-Civil Rights America. Edited by R. Drew Smith. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2003. 310 pp. $29.95.
Too often, the Civil Rights Movement forms the finish line for discussions of African-American church activism. New Day Begun remedies that short-sightedness by exploring contemporary forms of civic engagement in African-American churches. The volume's eleven essays analyze the context, character, and challenges of the ways that African-American churches interact with American society. Emerging from the 1999-2000 Black Churches and Politics Survey conducted by the Public Influences of African-American Churches Project at Morehouse College, this first of two volumes illuminates the important political, racial, and religious changes affecting African-American churches in the post-civil rights landscape. Changes include greater African-American participation in the political order, the widespread election of ministers to public office, a decline in prophetic church voices, a lessening of the visible public role of African-American churches, closer relationships between churches and the federal government, a rise in the number of advocacy groups filling roles once dominated by churches, a burgeoning feminist movement, and increasing religious, political, and economic diversity among African-Americans. Especially commendable is the authors' consideration of the growing influence of Holiness/Pentecostal traditions and their attention to the complex relationship between feminism and the theology and practices of African-American churches.
Both the survey and the essays take seriously the role of churches as agents of civic involvement. The number of activist churches has declined from the height of the Civil Rights Movement. Among those engaged in civic or political activity, their focus is more likely on electoral politics, especially voter registration, rather …
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Article title: New Day Begun: African American Churches and Civic Culture in Post-Civil Rights America. Contributors: Bennett, James - Author. Journal title: Journal of Church and State. Volume: 47. Issue: 2 Publication date: Spring 2005. Page number: 405+. © 1999 J.M. Dawson Studies in Church and State. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.
This material is protected by copyright and, with the exception of fair use, may not be further copied, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means.