Churches, Cultures & Leadership


Books on Society, Race and Christianity

We recommend these books on society, race and Christianity. Our friend Craig Hendrickson helped prepare this list. We welcome your comments and recommendations.

Christerson, Brad, Korie L. Edwards and Michael O. Emerson. Against All Odds. New York: New York University Press, 2005. Highlights common hindrances and enablements to racial integration in evangelical institutions.

Emerson, Michael O., and Christian Smith. Divided by Faith. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000. This seminal work is a must read, highlighting the reciprocal relationship between American evangelicalism and the forces of racialization in American society and the evangelical church.

Kidd, Colin. The Forging of Races. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006. Kidd demonstrates the frequent negative influences that Western Protestant theologizing has had on modern constructions of race and racial categorization.

Metzger, Paul L. Consuming Jesus. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2007. Traces how consumerism, market forces and the homogeneous unit principle have contributed toward race and class divisions in the American church.

Priest, Robert J., and Alvaro L. Nieves, eds. This Side of Heaven. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006. This compilation covers several essential topics including racial dynamics in congregations, developing multicultural competencies and theological reflection.Rah, Soong-Chan. The Next Evangelicalism. Downers Grove, Ill.: Inter- Varsity Press, 2009. This provocative book prophetically calls the church to shed its Western cultural captivity and embody diversity, reconciliation, and justice.

Sechrest, Love L. A Former Jew. New York: T & T Clark, 2009. Discusses the Pauline understanding of Christianity as a third race and its ethical implications for the contemporary American church.

Sharp, Douglas R. No Partiality. Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 2002. Integrates biblical theology and the social sciences to provide a comprehensive theology of race and racial reconciliation for the church.

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By engaging ethnic histories and hearing personal autobiographies we are participating in God's creative work of shaping and reshaping church life and mission.

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Part I: Theology and Context

Using the frameworks of practical theology and missional ecclesiology, we provide an introduction to the work of leadership and to social theory, including matters of social contexts, cultural variables, and ethnic identity.

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