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Bring Race to the Center: The Importance of Race in Racially Diverse Religious Organizations

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Abstract:

In recent decades we have witnessed increased interest in racially diverse religious organizations. Similar trends are occuring in other institutions, like education and business. In this article I discuss the importance of understanding the role that race, as a system that advantages whites, plays in the congregational life of racially integrated churches. Drawing upon the critical race literature, I propose that because race is central to how our society is organized, interracial chruches will need to placate white members' and affirm their religiocultural preferences and interests in order to sustain a racially diverse congregation. I offer some evidence supporting this claim. I also discuss the strengths and limitations of other perspectives used to explain racially diverse religious organizations.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-5906.2008.00387.x

Affiliations: Korie Edwards is Assistant Professor of Sociology, Department of Sociology, The Ohio State University, 190 N. Oval Mall, 300 Bricker Hall, Columbus, OH 43210., Email: kle@sociology.osu.edu

Publication date: 2008-03-01

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