This book examines the relationship between race, religion, and economics within the black church. The book features unheard voices of individuals experiencing economic deprivation and the faith communities who serve as their refuge. Thus, this project examines the economic ethics of black churches in the rural South whose congregants and broader communities have long struggled amidst persistent poverty.
Through a case study of communities in Alabama's Black Belt, this book argues that if the economic ethic of the Black Church remains accommodationist, it will continue to become increasingly irrelevant to communities that experience persistent poverty. Despite its historic role in combatting racial oppression and social injustice, the Church has also perpetuated ideologies that uncritically justify unjust social structures. Wilson shows how the Church can shift the conversation and reality of poverty by moving from a legacy of accommodationism and toward a legacy of empowering liberating economic ethics.
Wylin D. Wilson, is Adjunct Professor in the Tuskegee University College of Agriculture, Environment and Nutrition Sciences. She is the former Associate Director of Education at the National Center for Bioethics in Research and Health Care at Tuskegee University and currently resides in Boston, Massachusetts.
Chapter 1: Introduction: Poverty, Theology and Justice Fifty Years After the War on Poverty
Chapter 2: Coping with and Hoping through Faith Despite Economic Circumstances
Chapter 3: Still Standing Under Economic Pressure: Case Study Churches
Chapter 4: Strivin' Day to Day: Economic Reality and Religious Experience
Chapter 5: The Substance of Things: Categorical and Comparative Analysis of Faith's Foundation-Church, Faith, Christ
Chapter 6: The Evidence of Things: Categorical and Comparative Analysis of the Link between Poverty, Theology and Justice
Chapter 7: Keeping Faith with the Poor: Liberationist Economic Ethics