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Urban Church Imagined – Religion, Race, and Authenticity in the City - NYU Press Scholarship Online
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Urban Church Imagined: Religion, Race, and Authenticity in the City

Jessica M. Barron and Rhys Williams


Drawing on nearly two years of ethnographic data and 55 qualitative interviews, this book examines the ways in which race, class, gender, and consumption intersect with an urban context to shape the goals, identity, and experiences of a new religious congregation in Chicago. Downtown Church wants to be a church “of” and “for” the city, and wants to accomplish that goal by developing a membership that is young, trendy, sophisticated, and racially diverse. Consequently, the urban environment fosters a particular set of expectations about both cultural consumption and racial diversity—a “racializ ... More

Keywords: intersectionality, managed diversity, racial utility, racialized urban imaginary, ethnographic data

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2017 Print ISBN-13: 9781479877669
Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: May 2018 DOI:10.18574/nyu/9781479877669.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Jessica M. Barron, author
Frontline Solutions, Inc

Rhys Williams, author
Loyola University Chicago