A Theology on the Wrong Side of History
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.
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