Black churches in America have long been recognized as the most independent, stable, and dominant institutions in black communities. In "The Black Church in the African American Experience, "based on a ten-year study, is the largest nongovernmental study of urban and rural churches ever undertaken and the first major field study on the subject since the 1930s.
Drawing on interviews with more than 1,800 black clergy in both urban and rural settings, combined with a comprehensive historical overview of seven mainline black denominations, C. Eric Lincoln and Lawrence H. Mamiya present an analysis of the Black Church as it relates to the history of African Americans and to contemporary black culture. In examining both the internal structure of the Church and the reactions of the Church to external, societal changes, the authors provide important insights into the Church’s relationship to politics, economics, women, youth, and music.
Among other topics, Lincoln and Mamiya discuss the attitude of the clergy toward women pastors, the reaction of the Church to the civil rights movement, the attempts of the Church to involve young people, the impact of the black consciousness movement and Black Liberation Theology and clergy, and trends that will define the Black Church well into the next century.
This study is complete with a comprehensive bibliography of literature on the black experience in religion. Funding for the ten-year survey was made possible by the Lilly Endowment and the Ford Foundation.