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Something Within : Religion in African-American Political Activism - Fredrick C. Harris

Something Within

Religion in African-American Political Activism

Hardcover Published: 1st December 1999
ISBN: 9780195120332
Number Of Pages: 240

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One of the first book-length studies devoted to religion and African-American political activism in a generation, Something Within explores how Afro-Christianity, in various ways, promotes the political activism of African-Americans. Combining ethnography, history, contextual analysis, and survey research, this book illustrates the participatory effects of Afro-Christianity by examining its institutional, psychological, and cultural influences. Going beyond the opiate-inspiration debate that has dominated research on the subject, Author Fredrick C. Harris advances a new theory of religion as a political resource for a "civic culture in opposition."

"Something Within is a wonderful blend of statistical data and telling anecdotes, all pointing to the importance of the church in the politics of the African-American community. The book takes seriously the impact of religious belief and practice in empowering citizens to be politically active. This is a book that should be read by anyone interested in religion and politics, in the role of voluntary associations in building civil society, or in African-American politics."--Clyde Wilcox, Georgetown University "W.E.B. Du Bois saw black religion and political activism in America as gifts that black people gave to America, thus nurturing its democratic practices and its soul in spite of the racism and rejection they faced. In considering both religion and political activism as interacting and multidimensional factors, Professor Harris provides a theoretically sophisticated and ethnographically rich window into the way the black church organizes and offers these gifts in contemporary society. Overall this book is an absolute must read for anyone interested in the political implications of religion in a multi racial United States for the twenty first century."--Cheryl Townsend Gilkes, Colby College "This book fills an important gap and will, I suspect, make an immediate scholarly impact. One hears in these pages the cadences of the black church, the plaintive yet passionate cry of the spiritual, the defiant tone of prophetic challenges against injustice. Harris has captured the essence of this important phenomenon in a way that surpasses previous scholarship. I have been waiting for 20 years for a book like this."--Kenneth D. Wald, University of Florida "Destined to become one of the most important works on the influence of religion on African-American political behavior, this book blends a rich theoretical perspective with rigorous empirical analysis to shed new light on the historic black church as opiate or liberator debate. Written in an engaging and accessible style, Something Within is a must read for those interested in inextricably linked developments in political culture, political participation, and race. This is political science at its best."--Linda Faye Williams, University of Maryland, College Park "An important contribution to this field."American Journal of Sociology "...Harris ably supports his arguments and weaves a readable and informative narrative..."--Journal of Church and State "This meticulously researched book provides significant insight into the intersection of race with religion and politics in the US....In this pioneering work, Harris carefully frames his argument in research familiar to most scholars of religion and politics. The nonspecialist benefits from Harris's use of participant observation to bring reality to theory. Highly recommended."--Choice "Something Within is a wonderful blend of statistical data and telling anecdotes, all pointing to the importance of the church in the politics of the African-American community. The book takes seriously the impact of religious belief and practice in empowering citizens to be politically active. This is a book that should be read by anyone interested in religion and politics, in the role of voluntary associations in building civil society, or in African-American politics."--Clyde Wilcox, Georgetown University "W.E.B. Du Bois saw black religion and political activism in America as gifts that black people gave to America, thus nurturing its democratic practices and its soul in spite of the racism and rejection they faced. In considering both religion and political activism as interacting and multidimensional factors, Professor Harris provides a theoretically sophisticated and ethnographically rich window into the way the black church organizes and offers these gifts in contemporary society. Overall this book is an absolute must read for anyone interested in the political implications of religion in a multi racial United States for the twenty first century."--Cheryl Townsend Gilkes, Colby College "This book fills an important gap and will, I suspect, make an immediate scholarly impact. One hears in these pages the cadences of the black church, the plaintive yet passionate cry of the spiritual, the defiant tone of prophetic challenges against injustice. Harris has captured the essence of this important phenomenon in a way that surpasses previous scholarship. I have been waiting for 20 years for a book like this."--Kenneth D. Wald, University of Florida "Destined to become one of the most important works on the influence of religion on African-American political behavior, this book blends a rich theoretical perspective with rigorous empirical analysis to shed new light on the historic black church as opiate or liberator debate. Written in an engaging and accessible style, Something Within is a must read for those interested in inextricably linked developments in political culture, political participation, and race. This is political science at its best."--Linda Faye Williams, University of Maryland, College Park "This book is a fine example of how ethnographic and quantitative research methods can be combined to tell a full, rich story. Using multiple methods and multiple data sources, Harris writes a highly academic, theoretically insightful book that is also an interesting read. In the process he successfully reveals much more about the nature and complexity of the relationship between religion and politics in the African American community than has been appreciated by scholars before."--American Political Science Review "Harris combines an impressive array of data... to examine the psychological, institutional, and cultural 'resources' that inhere in black churches and are enacted by black Christians...well written and well argued...an important contribution to the field."--American Journal of Sociology

I.: Introduction II.: When a Little Becomes Much: Religious Resources in Action III.: Prophetic Fragments: Macro and Micro Foundations of Religious Resources IV.: Religion Reconsidered: Black Protest and Electoral Activism in an Age of Transformation V.: Blessed Assurance: Religion, Personal Empowerment, and African-American Political Activism VI.: Rock in a Weary Land: Religion Institutions and African-American Political Activism VII.: Ties That Bind: Organizational and Psychological Dynamics of Religious Resources VIII.: The Last Shall Be First: Religion, Oppositional Culture, and African-American Political Mobilization IX.: In My Father's House: Religion and Gender in African-American Political Life X.: (Epilogue) It Remains to be Seen: Stability and Change in Religion and African-American Politics Appendices Notes Bibliography Index

ISBN: 9780195120332
ISBN-10: 0195120337
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 240
Published: 1st December 1999
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.88  x 1.91
Weight (kg): 0.57