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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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History, White Religion, and the Civil Rights Movement

(p.1) Introduction
Mississippi Praying

Carolyn Renée Dupont

NYU Press

This introductory chapter depicts a foreign landscape where its inhabitants understood the Christian faith and its implications quite differently from the meanings given by contemporary believers. It re-creates white Americans' dialogue about the implications of faith for racial justice. Drawing significantly on insights from American religious history, the book takes the experiences of religious individuals, leaders, congregations, and faith communities as the basis of the narrative. In addition, various misconceptions about the civil rights struggle result from framing it primarily as a story about progressive egalitarians versus unenlightened racists. More effectively than individuals with an inexplicable hatred of black folks, whites cooperated together to create obstacles to black advancement. The book aims to pinpoint the moral dimensions of this story where they properly belong.

Keywords:   Christian faith, white Americans, racial justice, American religious history, civil rights, progressive egalitarians, racists, black advancement

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