Elusive Dream The Power of Race in Interracial Churches

ISBN-10: 0195314247
ISBN-13: 9780195314243
Edition: 2008
Authors: Korie L. Edwards
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Description: It is communion Sunday at a mixed-race church. A black pastor and white head elder stand before the sanctuary as lay leaders pass out the host. An African-American woman sings a gospel song as a woman of Asian descent plays the piano. Then a black  More...

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Book details

List price: $33.95
Copyright year: 2008
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 8/27/2008
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 240
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.25" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.034
Language: English

It is communion Sunday at a mixed-race church. A black pastor and white head elder stand before the sanctuary as lay leaders pass out the host. An African-American woman sings a gospel song as a woman of Asian descent plays the piano. Then a black woman in the congregation throws her hands up and yells, over and over, "Thank you Lawd!" A few other African-Americans in the pews say "Amen," while white parishioners sit stone-faced. The befuddled white head elder reads aloud from the Bible, his soft voice drowned out by the shouts of praise. Even in this proudly interracial church, America's racial divide is a constant presence. In The Elusive Dream, Korie L. Edwards presents the surprising results of an in-depth study of interracial churches: they help perpetuate the very racial inequality they aim to abolish. To arrive at this conclusion, she combines a nuanced analysis of national survey data with an in-depth examination of one particular church. She shows that mixed-race churches adhere strongly to white norms. African Americans in multiracial settings adapt their behavior to make white congregants comfortable. Behavior that white worshipers perceive as out of bounds is felt by blacks as too limiting. Yet to make interracial churches work, blacks must adjust their behavior to accommodate the predilections of whites. They conform to white expectations in church just as they do elsewhere. Thorough, incisive, and surprising, The Elusive Dream raises provocative questions about the ongoing problem of race in the national culture.

Introduction
Decently and in Order: Congregational Worship
Bringing Race to the Center: Extrareligious Activities
Spiritual Affirmative Action: Leadership Structure and Characteristics
Racial Identity: Material for Cross-Racial Bridging?
Why Do They Come?
Reproducing White Hegemony
Conclusion: The Elusive Dream
Research Methods
National Congregations Study Variables and Operationalizations
Tables
Interview Guides
Notes
Bibliography
Index

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