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Mississippi PrayingSouthern White Evangelicals and the Civil Rights Movement, 1945-1975$
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Carolyn Renée Dupont

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780814708415

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814708415.001.0001

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Conclusion

Conclusion

A Theology on the Wrong Side of History

Chapter:
(p.231) Conclusion
Source:
Mississippi Praying
Author(s):

Carolyn Renée Dupont

Publisher:
NYU Press
DOI:10.18574/nyu/9780814708415.003.0011

This concluding chapter states that the conservative religion of white Mississippians provided almost no help to the state's African Americans as they struggled to abolish white domination. Evangelicals fought against black equality, proclaiming that God himself ordained segregation, blessing the forces of resistance, silencing the advocates of racial equality, and protecting segregation in their churches. This book claims that theology shaped evangelicals' responses to the demand for black equality. The literalist view of the Bible helped define segregation, while moderates who began the civil rights years with flexible views of Scripture found a corresponding openness to the moral critique of segregation. The book, however, does not attribute a special propensity for racism to conservative evangelicals; rather, it demonstrates that certain ways of viewing sin, morality, and individual responsibility structure a people's thinking so as to obscure and discount collective and corporate responsibility.

Keywords:   conservative religion, white Mississippians, white domination, black equality, segregation, biblical literalism, civil rights, theology

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