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This Side of HeavenRace, Ethnicity, and Christian Faith$

Robert J. Priest and Alvaro L. Nieves

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195310566

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195310566.001.0001

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(p.341) Appendix 2 Resources for Further Reading and Study

(p.341) Appendix 2 Resources for Further Reading and Study

This Side of Heaven
Oxford University Press

Anderson, David. 2004. Multicultural ministry: Finding your church’s unique rhythm. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. This is an inspirational and practical guide to multicultural ministry by an African American pastor of a large multicultural congregation. The author draws from his rich experience as a pastor, counselor, consultant, and radio talk show host to outline practical steps toward the “dance” of racial reconciliation.

Blount, Brian K., and Leonora Tubbs Tisdale, ed. 2001. Making room at the table: An invitation to multicultural worship. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox. This collection of essays from professors at Princeton Theological Seminary sets forth biblical and theological foundations for multicultural worship, and calls for worship more inclusive of and relevant to diverse ethnic communities.

Christerson, Brad, Michael O. Emerson, and Korie L. Edwards. 2004. Against all odds: The struggle of racial integration in religious organizations. New York: New York University Press. Three sociologists explore the beliefs, practices, and structures that allow integrated religious organizations “to survive and thrive” despite challenges. Based on ethnographies of four congregations, one Bible College, and one campus student group, the book explores what it is like to be part of a multiracial religious organization and provides theoretical analysis of such efforts at racial integration.

Davis, David Brion. 2001. In the image of God: Religion, moral values, and our heritage of slavery. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. This collection of essays, written by this country’s leading historian of global slavery, provides an excellent introduction to a wide variety of books dealing with slavery and its abolition, and explores the role of religious ideas in the eventual success of abolitionists. It is especially useful on the international context of American slavery.

DeYoung, Curtiss Paul, Michael O. Emerson, George Yancey, and Karen Chai Kim. 2003. United by faith: The multiracial congregation as an answer to (p.342) the problem of race. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Three sociologists and a theologian review research demonstrating that only 5.5 percent of Christian congregations in America are multiracial and develop the argument that Christian congregations, when possible, should be multiracial. They survey biblical antecedents of multiracial congregations, review the history of such congregations in the United States, consider the various debates about homogeneous versus multiracial congregations, and develop a theological framework for the multiracial congregation. Such multiracial congregations, they claim, are a key answer to the problem of race.

Emerson, Michael O., and Christian Smith. 2000. Divided by faith: Evangelical religion and the problem of race in America. New York: Oxford University Press. An enormously influential book, grounded in extensive survey and interview data, which analyzes the role of white evangelicalism in black-white relations. The authors contend that despite recent efforts by white evangelicals to address problems of racial discrimination, the evangelical movement’s emphasis on individualism, free will, and personal relationships precludes accurate understandings of racial processes and unwittingly contributes to racialized patterns.

Fields, Bruce. 2001. Introducing black theology: Three crucial questions for the evangelical church. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic. An African American theologian provides a brief, accessible introduction to black theology, organized around a response to three questions: What is black theology? What can black theology teach the (white) evangelical church? What is the future of black theology? This is a good introduction to the topic for white evangelical Christians.

Frederick, Marla F. 2003. Between Sundays: Black women and everyday struggles of faith. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press. A forthright and detailed look at how black women choose to live spiritual lives within the painful constraints of race, gender and class in rural North Carolina. The author, a black Christian anthropologist, reveals a world where women of faith change themselves, their families, churches, and community through acts of gratitude, empathy, and “righteous discontent.”

Goldenberg, David M. 2003. The curse of Ham: Race and slavery in early Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. An outstanding work of scholarship, written in an engaging and accessible style, this book traces the history of interpretations of Noah’s curse on Ham’s son Canaan. It demonstrates that early Jewish sources had neutral to positive associations for Africans, and that it was only over a long history that later racial meanings were illegitimately read back into the text in ways designed to justify racial prejudice of a later era.

Hawn, C. Michael. 2003. Gather into one: Praying and singing globally. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans. For churches wishing to embrace recent immigrants from around the world, this book is a must. Michael Hawn, a seminary professor and musicologist, explores the work of five influential church musicians from Argentina, Taiwan, South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Scotland and suggests ways in which congregations can bring Christians together in unity through appropriate usage of diverse expressions in worship. Worship leaders in congregations wishing to be ethnically inclusive will find this book especially helpful.

Hays, J. Daniel. 2003. From every people and nation: A biblical theology of race. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity. A biblical scholar describes key ethnic groups referred to in the Bible, examines their probable “racial” characteristics (described in terms of modern race categories), and outlines a biblical theology of race. While one might wish the author were more conversant with recent debates on the construct of (p.343) “race,” this is nonetheless an excellent resource. Especially noteworthy is Hayes’s extensive treatment of biblical references to Cush.

Jenkins, Philip. 2002. The next Christendom: The coming of global Christianity. Oxford: Oxford University Press. A noted historian demonstrates that Christianity’s numerical center of gravity is shifting away from an increasingly secular North America and Europe toward Africa, Asia, and Latin America. That is, Christianity is increasingly associated with darker skin, and with poverty rather than wealth. Non-European immigrants frequently bring a vigorous Christianity with them, and, in the process revitalize and change the face of Christianity in North America and Europe.

Jeung, Russell. 2004. Faithful generations: Race and new Asian American churches. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press. Jeung, a sociologist who is also active in church work, examines Asian American congregations in the San Francisco Bay area, focusing on the ways in which racial identities and religious practices mutually shape the other. A central focus concerns second- and third-generation Asian Americans and the pan-Asian multiethnic churches that they lead.

Marsh, Charles. 2005. The beloved community: How faith shapes social justice, from the civil rights movement to today. New York: Basic. A theologian traces the spiritual roots animating the civil rights movement, beginning with Martin Luther King and his Christian vision of a “beloved community,” and continuing through more recent faith-based social justice initiatives. He effectively tells the stories of Martin Luther King, Clarence Jordan, Gene Rivers, John Perkins, and various other contemporaries who bear “witness to the Prince of Peace in a violent and suffering world.”

Marti, Gerardo. 2005. A mosaic of believers: Diversity and innovation in a multiethnic church. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Marti, a Cuban American sociologist, describes and analyzes Mosaic, one of the largest multiethnic congregations in America (roughly equal parts Asian American, Hispanic, and Euro-American). He suggests that this church, largely comprising single, childless young adults, has grown by providing multiple “havens,” arenas of multiethnic companionship and cooperation, which appeal to people in ways that trump ethnic differences.

Okholm, Dennis L., ed. 1997. The gospel in black and white: Theological resources for racial reconciliation. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity. Essays by African American and Euro-American theologians, biblical scholars, and pastors explore strategic ways in which theological resources ought to shape and inform Christian efforts at racial reconciliation between blacks and whites.

Raboteau, Albert J. 2001. Canaan Land: A religious history of African Americans. New York: Oxford University Press. This is an excellent, brief introduction to African American religious history. It is not as comprehensive as Lincoln and Mamiya, but it is just as competent and easier to read.

Volf, Miroslav. 1998. Exclusion and embrace: A theological exploration of identity, otherness, and reconciliation. Nashville, TN: Abingdon. A leading theologian insightfully explores the meaning of the Trinity, the incarnation, and the cross for groups of people with historic animosities. This is an outstanding book, with weaknesses. Since the author’s conversation partners come from the humanities and not the social science disciplines that empirically investigate ethnic and racial dynamics, there are significant lacunae in the treatment of ethnic conflict or racial conflict or both. The core construct of race remains largely unexamined and the African American experience of race and appropriation of the Christian message in response to racial exclusion is unexplored.

(p.344) Warner, R. Stephen, and Judith D. Wittner, ed. 1998. Gatherings in diaspora: Religious communities and the new immigration. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. This book summarizes research from Warner’s “New Ethnic and Immigrant Congregations Project,” with twelve scholarly essays, ten of them mini-ethnographies of immigrant congregations in America. These ethnographies explore the ways in which immigrants forge new relations and identities through involvement in religious congregations.

Woodley, Randy. 2004. Living in color: Embracing God’s passion for ethnic diversity. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity. Woodley, a Keetoowah Cherokee, sets forth a biblical, multiethnic vision for the church, and explores the experience of Native American Indians with Euro-American Christianity. He suggests the importance of acknowledging ethnocentrism and painful historical failures, of contextualizing the gospel in ways that respect culture, and of working toward reconciliation and justice.

Yamauchi, Edwin M. 2004. Africa and the Bible. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic. A noted scholar reviews biblical texts that make reference to Africa or Africans, situates these texts archaeologically and historically, critiques historical usages of such texts in justifying racial attitudes and practices, and evaluates various Afrocentric reconstructions of such texts. The author is irenic, and is particularly strong on the historical and archaeological detail.

Yancey, George A. 2003. One body, one spirit: Principles of successful multiracial churches. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity. An African American sociologist reviews what he learned through a major Lilly-funded research project on multiracial churches, identifying several distinct types of multiracial churches, and suggesting specific insights and implications for leadership, worship, interpersonal and intercultural skills, and more. Recommended for seminarians, pastors, and others with leadership roles in congregations.