Divided by Faith

In: Social Issues

Submitted By rcar31
Words 1077
Pages 5
Sociology 102: Contemporary Social Issues
19 November 2013
Divided by Faith: Evangelicals and Race
The issue of race has been one of the largest and most ever-present societal problems in America, dating back to the nation’s founding. As race is a social construction, the issue has adapted and changed vastly over the last two-hundred years, yet still remains extremely prevalent in society today. In Divided by Faith, authors Michael O. Emerson and Christian Smith delve into the issue of race in the present day United States. Specifically, the authors target Protestant Evangelism and how white Evangelical principles have exacerbated, and continue to exacerbate the racial divide in America. Through in-depth field research, involving over 200 phone and face-to-face interviews with Evangelicals and people of color, Emerson and Smith were able to tackle and analyze an issue that had gone essentially unheard-of. The book as whole, especially the interview process, enlightened me to a problem that I, as well as many others, had never thought about before.
The authors analyze the racial divide by discussing how Protestants view the issue of race. While these Evangelicals actively try to break the divide, their core principles and values do the opposite. Before reading the book, I knew many Christians who work to reach out to people of color, but I had never thought about how the way they went about it held them back. The thing that most interested me was looking at the issue on an interpersonal vs. institutional level. Part of the reason Evangelicalism is holding the racial divide firm is that they tend to look at problems on a personal level, rather than an institutional one; if something is wrong in a person’s life, they are the ones to blame, not their surroundings and the environment around them. Because of all the problems that are associated with being poor in this…...

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