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This Side of HeavenRace, Ethnicity, and Christian Faith$
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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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Crossing the Color Line: A Brief Historical Survey of Race Relations in American Evangelical Christianity

Crossing the Color Line: A Brief Historical Survey of Race Relations in American Evangelical Christianity

Chapter:
(p.111) 7 Crossing the Color Line: A Brief Historical Survey of Race Relations in American Evangelical Christianity
Source:
This Side of Heaven
Author(s):

Joseph L. Thomas

Douglas A. Sweeney

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195310566.003.0008

This chapter offers an introductory and reflective history of American Evangelical Christianity as it wrestled with the issues of race and ethnicity. In particular, it examines the history of evangelical ministry across the racial divide, accommodations made to slavery and segregation, the rise of independent of black churches, and the impact of African American Christianity on white evangelicalism. This leads to better understanding of its manifest shortcomings as well as the positive strivings that evangelicalism has made in creating a less prejudiced and more inclusive church. However, it is observed that the biblical themes of spiritual liberation and human equality have worked together in the history of evangelicalism to make the Christian church a more biblical one, if not yet a perfect one. The history of evangelicalism indicates that one needs to the spiritual resources to find a solution to the present miasma.

Keywords:   American Evangelical Christianity, race, ethnicity, African American Christianity, white evangelicalism, black church

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