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In many respects, religion was a bedrock of the civil rights movement during the 1950s and 1960s. Theology infused the spirit and rhetoric of the movement, churches served as the gathering place for its followers, and men of the cloth--foremost among them the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.--led the perilous journey that changed the nation.
Today, the quest for improving the lives of racial minorities and pursuing justice is less a "movement" and more a collection of diffuse efforts to fend off a retrenchment from affirmative action and nondiscrimination laws, improve economic prospects for residents of low-income urban neighborhoods, and organize grass-roots political activities. In that context, the relationships between religion and civil rights have become less obvious and more complex.
This volume of essays takes stock of the ways in which different religions, their leaders, and their followers now see their role in promoting civil rights. Developed in conjunction with the Civil Rights Project at Harvard University, this book is the first in a series edited by Gary Orfield and Holly J. Lebowitz. Authors include Robert Franklin, president of the Interdenominational Theological Center; Robin Lovin, dean of the Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University; David Chappell, a Buddhist scholar at the University of Hawaii; Amina Waddud, an Islam expert at Virginia Commonwealth University; Reuven Kimmelman at Brandeis University; and Allan Figueroa Deck, professor at the Loyola Institute for Spirituality.
|Introduction: Religion and Racial Justice||1|
|Pt. I||The Civil Rights Tradition: The 1960s Movement and Today's Realities||25|
|1||Another Day's Journey: Faith Communities Renewing American Democracy||31|
|2||The Jewish Basis for Social Justice||41|
|3||The Beloved Community: An American Search||49|
|4||Religion, Civil Rights, and Civic Community: The Public Role of American Protestantism||67|
|Pt. II||Broadening the Base: New Insights from Diverse Traditions||87|
|5||Buddhism and Civil Rights||93|
|6||Evangelical Cooperation in the Cause of Racial Justice||115|
|7||Latino Popular Religion and the Struggle for Justice||137|
|8||An Islamic Perspective on Civil Rights Issues||153|
|Pt. III||Looking Ahead: Spiritual Resources for a New Movement||165|
|9||Civil Rights and the Common Good: Some Possible Contributions of Religious Communities||169|
|10||From "Beloved Community" to "Beloved Communities": Inviting New Faith Partners to the Civil Rights Struggle||175|
|About the Contributors||225|