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Books about Religious Diversity
Neither Jew nor Gentile: Exploring Issues of Racial Diversity on Protestant College Campuses by
Publication Date: 2010
Protestant institutions of higher learning have historically enrolled fewer students of color than nonsectarian colleges and universities. In this book, George Yancey explores the racial climate on Protestant campuses, examining the reasons why these institutions succeed or fail to attract adiverse student body and why students of color who do attend such institutions either succeed or fail to graduate. Of course, no major Protestant denomination endorses overt racism, and Protestant educators have indicated a wish to increase racial diversity on their campuses. Despite this expresseddesire, however, Yancey finds numerous barriers to achieving such diversity. On the one hand, evangelical institutions, like the denominations that sponsor them, tend to espouse an individualistic, "colorblind" ideology that ignores racial injustices and discourages the attendance of students ofcolor. Mainline Protestants have much more progressive racial attitudes than conservatives. Ironically, however, Protestants of color tend to be theologically conservative, and have deep disagreements with the mainline on such theological issues as biblical inerrancy and social issues likehomosexuality. Yancey finds that many traditional approaches to enhancing diversity appear ineffective. Such diversity programs, he discovers, are not as effective as curriculum reforms or student led multicultural groups. Educational courses and student led groups that deal with racial issues proveto be more highly correlated with a diverse student body than multicultural, anti-racism, community, or non-European cultural programs.
Anxious to Talk about It by
Publication Date: 2018
"What if I say the wrong thing?" "I'm white--is race really something I need to talk about? I'm worried I'll be called a racist!" "What does race have to do with faith, anyway?" "Why do we have to keep talking about this?"If talking about racism makes you anxious, afraid, or even angry, you're not alone. In Anxious to Talk about It, pastor and professor Carolyn B. Helsel draws on her success with white congregations to offer insight and tools to embrace, explore and work through the anxious feelings that often arise in these hard conversations. Through powerful personal stories, new observations on racial identity development, and spiritual practices to help engage issues of racial justice prayerfully, you'll gain a deeper understanding of race in America and your place in it. You will learn how to join conversations with courage, compassion, and knowledge of self, others, and the important issues at stake. Helsel's guidance will inspire you to receive the gifts that come through these difficult race conversations and point to how you can get further involved in the important social justice work around race relations. Each chapter ends with questions for reflection and discussion to further help you get the conversations started.While Anxious to Talk about It can be read alone, reading with a group will deepen the discussion, integrate the material, and provide opportunities to practice. A free Study Guide and other group resources are available at www.chalicepress.com.
United by Faith by
Publication Date: 2003
In the last four decades, desegregation has revolutionized almost every aspect of life in the United States: schools, businesses, government offices, even entertainment. But there is one area that remains largely untouched, and that is the church. Now comes a major new call for multiracialcongregations in every possible setting--a call that is surprisingly controversial, even in the twenty-first century.In United By Faith, a multiracial team of sociologists and a minister of the Church of God argue that multiracial Christian congregations offer a key to opening the still-locked door between the races in the United States. They note, however, that a belief persists--even in African-American andLatino churches--that racial segregation is an acceptable, even useful practice. The authors examine this question from biblical, historical, and theological perspectives to make their case. They explore the long history of interracialism in the church, with specific examples of multiracialcongregations in the United States. They cite examples ranging from the abolitionist movement to an astonishing 1897 camp meeting in Alabama that brought together hundreds of whites and blacks literally into the same tent. Here, too, is a critical account of the theological arguments in favor ofracial separation, as voiced in the African-American, Latino, Asian-American, Native-American, and white contexts. The authors respond in detail, closing with a foundation for a theology suited to sustaining multiracial congregations over time.Faith can be the basis for healing, but too often Christian faith has been a field for injury and division. In this important new book, readers will glimpse a way forward, a path toward once again making the church the basis for racial reconciliation in our still-splintered nation.
Dear White Christians: For Those Still Longing for Racial Reconciliation by
Publication Date: 2020
In this provocative book Jennifer Harvey argues for a radical shift in how justice-committed white Christians think about race. She calls for moving away from the reconciliation paradigm that currently dominates interracial relations and embracing instead a reparations paradigm. Harvey presents an insightful historical analysis of the painful fissures that emerged among activist Christians toward the end of the Civil Rights movement, and she shows the necessity of bringing "white" racial identity into clear view in order to counter today's oppressive social structures. A deeply constructive, hopeful work, Dear White Christians will help readers envision new racial possibilities, including concrete examples of contemporary reparations initiatives. This book is for any who care about the gospel call to justice but feel stuck trying to get there, given the ongoing prevalence of deep racial divisions in the church and society at large. W atch a 2015 interview with the author:
The Global Public Square by
Publication Date: 2013-08-01
How do we live with our deepest differences?In a world torn by religious conflict, the threats to human dignity are terrifyingly real. Some societies face harsh government repression and brutal sectarian violence, while others are divided by bitter conflicts over religion's place in public life. Is there any hope for living together peacefully?Os Guinness argues that the way forward for the world lies in promoting freedom of religion and belief for people of all faiths and none. He sets out a vision of a civil and cosmopolitan global public square, and how it can be established by championing the freedom of the soul--the inviolable freedom of thought, conscience and religion. In particular he calls for leadership that has the courage to act on behalf of the common good. Far from utopian, this constructive vision charts a course for the future of the world. Soul freedom is not only a shining ideal but a dire necessity and an eminently practical solution to the predicaments of our time. We can indeed maximize freedom and justice and learn to negotiate deep differences in public life. For a world desperate for hope at a critical juncture of human history, here is a way forward, for the good of all.
America and the Challenges of Religious Diversity by
Publication Date: 2007-07-22
Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and adherents of other non-Western religions have become a significant presence in the United States in recent years. Yet many Americans continue to regard the United States as a Christian society. How are we adapting to the new diversity? Do we casually announce that we "respect" the faiths of non-Christians without understanding much about those faiths? Are we willing to do the hard work required to achieve genuine religious pluralism? Award-winning author Robert Wuthnow tackles these and other difficult questions surrounding religious diversity and does so with his characteristic rigor and style. America and the Challenges of Religious Diversity looks not only at how we have adapted to diversity in the past, but at the ways rank-and-file Americans, clergy, and other community leaders are responding today. Drawing from a new national survey and hundreds of in-depth qualitative interviews, this book is the first systematic effort to assess how well the nation is meeting the current challenges of religious and cultural diversity. The results, Wuthnow argues, are both encouraging and sobering--encouraging because most Americans do recognize the right of diverse groups to worship freely, but sobering because few Americans have bothered to learn much about religions other than their own or to engage in constructive interreligious dialogue. Wuthnow contends that responses to religious diversity are fundamentally deeper than polite discussions about civil liberties and tolerance would suggest. Rather, he writes, religious diversity strikes us at the very core of our personal and national theologies. Only by understanding this important dimension of our culture will we be able to move toward a more reflective approach to religious pluralism.