Saints in Exile: The Holiness-Pentecostal Experience in African American Religion and Culture / Edition 1

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Overview

Saints in Exile studies, from an insider's perspective, the worship practices and social ethics of the African American family of Holiness, Pentecostal, and Apostolic churches known collectively as the Sanctified Church. Cheryl Sanders identifies the theme of exile, both as an idea and an experience, as the key to understanding the dialectical nature of African American religious and intellectual life, that W.E.B. Du Bois called "double-conscious." Sanders's saints in exile are a people who see themselves as "in the world but not of it"; their marginalized status is both self-imposed and involuntary, a consequence of racism, sexism and other forms of elitism. When joined with the biblical tropes of homecoming and reconciliation, the concept of exile serves as a vital vantage point from which to identify, critique, and remedy the continued alienation of blacks, women, and the poor in the United States.

Sanders's interpretive approach clarifies many paradoxical features of black existence, especially the peculiar interplay of the sacred and the secular in African American song, speech, and dance. She particularly scrutinizes gospel music, a product of the Sanctified worship tradition that has had a significant influence on popular culture. Saints in Exile goes further than any previous study in illuminating the African American experience; it will be welcomed by scholars and students of American religion, African American studies, and American History.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Those who have an affinity for or an interest in the culture of black holiness and Pentecostal churches will gain rich new insights and historical background from Sanders's work."—Christian Century

"A valuable piece of work that will fill a void in current scholarship on black church culture. Her 'insider' perspective pays off in insights often missing in black theology."—Robert Franklin, Candler School of Theology

"A major contribution to an area of African-American religious studies where there is a great void in the literature....This is definitely very good and very important."—Cheryl T. Gilkes, Colby College

"Sanders' study is a very carefully drawn portrait of African American religious experience, and her use of the dialectical axes offers considerable insight and analysis that makes this volume a must read."—Christian Sociologist Newsletter

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195131017
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 3/25/1999
  • Series: Religion in America Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 200
  • Sales rank: 1,025,826
  • Product dimensions: 8.10 (w) x 5.40 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Cheryl J. Sanders is Associate Professor of Christian Ethics at the Howard University School of Divinity, and Associate Pastor for Leadership Development at the Third Street Church of God in Washington D.C.. Dr. Sanders is the editor of Living the Intersection (1995).

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