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The Negro Church in America

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According to C. Eric Lincoln, the turbulent decade of the Sixties witnessed the death of the Negro Church. In its place, the offspring of the conflict between "conscienceless power" and "powerless conscience," is the Black Church. No longer the dependent bastion of Black prudence, Black institutional religion -- whether traditional, pentecostal, or Muslim -- has assumed a new role of leadership in its centuries-old quest for social and spiritual justice in America.

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Overview

According to C. Eric Lincoln, the turbulent decade of the Sixties witnessed the death of the Negro Church. In its place, the offspring of the conflict between "conscienceless power" and "powerless conscience," is the Black Church. No longer the dependent bastion of Black prudence, Black institutional religion -- whether traditional, pentecostal, or Muslim -- has assumed a new role of leadership in its centuries-old quest for social and spiritual justice in America.

C. Eric Lincoln is presently Chairman of the Department of Religious and Philosophical Studies at Fisk University and is the founding President of the Black Academy of Arts and Letters

A study arguing that the civil rights movement saw the splintering of the traditional black church and the creation of new roles for religion.

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Product Details

Table of Contents

Preface 3
A Memoir 5
Introduction 7
1 The Religion of the Slaves
The Break with the African Background 9
The Loss of Social Cohesion 11
The Christian Religion Provides a New Basis of Social Cohesion 14
Christianity: A New Orientation Toward Existence 17
The Negro Adapts Christianity to His Experience in the New World 19
The "Invisible Institution" Comes into Existence 23
2 The Institutional Church of the Free Negroes
The Negroes Who Were Free Before the Civil War 26
Relations of Free Negroes and Whites in the Churches 28
Conflict over the Question of Status 31
The Free Negroes Establish Their Own Churches 33
3 The Negro Church: A Nation Within a Nation
The "Invisible Institution" Merges with the Institutional Church 35
The Church as an Agency of Social Control 37
The Church and Economic Cooperation 40
The Church and Education 43
An Arena of Political Life 47
A Refuge in a Hostile White World 50
4 Negro Religion in the City
The Migration to Cities 52
The Secularization of the Churches 54
Religion in the "Storefront" Church 58
Negro Cults in the City 60
5 The Negro Church and Assimilation
The Walls Came Tumbling Down 72
The Church Is No Longer a Refuge 75
The Gospel Singers 77
The Religion of the New Middle Class 80
Conclusion 86
Notes 91
Index 209
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