Black Gods of the Metropolis: Negro Religious Cults of the Urban North

Overview

Stemming from his anthropological field work among black religious groups in Philadelphia in the early 1940s, Arthur Huff Fauset believed it was possible to determine the likely direction that mainstream black religious leadership would take in the future, a direction that later indeed manifested itself in the civil rights movement. The American black church, according to Fauset and other contemporary researchers, provided the one place where blacks could experiment without hindrance in activities such as ...

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Black Gods of the Metropolis: Negro Religious Cults of the Urban North

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Overview

Stemming from his anthropological field work among black religious groups in Philadelphia in the early 1940s, Arthur Huff Fauset believed it was possible to determine the likely direction that mainstream black religious leadership would take in the future, a direction that later indeed manifested itself in the civil rights movement. The American black church, according to Fauset and other contemporary researchers, provided the one place where blacks could experiment without hindrance in activities such as business, politics, social reform, and social expression. With detailed primary accounts of these early spiritual movements and their beliefs and practices, Black Gods of the Metropolis reveals the fascinating origins of such significant modern African American religious groups as the Nation of Islam as well as the role of lesser known and even forgotten churches in the history of the black community.

In her new foreword, historian Barbara Dianne Savage discusses the relationship between black intellectuals and black religion, in particular the relationship between black social scientists and black religious practices during Fauset's time. She then explores the complexities of that relationship and its impact on the intellectual and political history of African American religion in general.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A foundational text in fields as diverse as religion and urban studies, Black studies and anthropology—a must read!"—Lee D. Baker, author of From Savage to Negro

"Fauset's falls into the select group that includes works of Ralph Ellison, LeRoi Jones, and Albert Murray, that is, the writings of those who have best recognized the distinctiveness and power of Afro-American culture, and given it its proper place in the world."—John F. Szwed, Yale University

"A pioneering work in the sociology of African-American religion."—Utopian Studies

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780812210019
  • Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press, Inc.
  • Publication date: 12/28/1970
  • Pages: 152
  • Sales rank: 1,326,172
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Arthur Huff Fauset (1899-1983) was a civil rights activist, educator, folklorist, and author of several works, including Sojourner Truth, a biography. Barbara Dianne Savage is Associate Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania. She is author of Broadcasting Freedom: Radio, War, and the Politics of Race, 1938-1948.

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Table of Contents

Foreword vii
Introduction xvii
Author's Note xxiii
I Negro Religious Cults in the Urban North 1
II Mt. Sinai Holy Church of America, Inc. 13
III United House of Prayer for All People (Bishop Grace) 22
IV Church of God (Black Jews) 31
V Moorish Science Temple of America 41
VI Father Divine Peace Mission Movement 52
VII Comparative Study 68
VIII Why the Cults Attract 76
IX The Cult as a Functional Institution 87
X The Negro and His Religion 96
XI Summary of Findings 107
Appendices 111
Bibliography 123
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