Towards A Relevant Church: Post-Civil Rights Black Churches And Their Responses To Community Needs
thesisposted on 06.08.2019, 00:00 by Patrick Charles Washington
This study offers a novel contribution to the ongoing debate on the continuing significance of race by exploring the contemporary relevance of the Black Church. My research investigates (1) whether or not present-day Black churches remain culturally distinct vis a vis white congregation; and (2) if and how Black churches have changed to suit the new demands of the post-Civil Rights era. As my findings show, the contemporary “Black Church” is comprised of a complex synthesis of similarity to and departure from their pre-Civil Rights roots and with their modern-day non-Black counterparts. In total, these findings point to four emergent yet distinctive typologies that vary across social service engagement and forms of political participation. These typologies of contemporary Black churches speak not to a “death of the Black Church,” but rather challenge us to conceptualize the Black Church as varied, and complex as the African American experience, post-Civil Rights.