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Just and Righteous Causes: Rabbi Ira Sanders and the Fight for Racial and Social Justice in Arkansas, 1926-1963, by James L. Moses

On the Lived Theology Reading List: Just and Righteous Causes

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Rabbi Ira Sanders was a dedicated advocate for social justice long before the term entered everyday usage. He led Little Rock’s Temple B’nai Israel for nearly forty years, and was a trained social worker in addition to being a rabbi. Just and Righteous Causes, by James L. Moses, is a complete biographical study of Sanders, and examines how this bold social-activist rabbi expertly navigated the intersections of race, religion, and gender to advocate for a more just society. Read More

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White Too Long: The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity, by Robert P. Jones

On the Lived Theology Reading List: White Too Long

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In White Too Long, author Robert P. Jones demonstrates how deeply racist attitudes have become embedded in the DNA of white Christian identity over time and calls for an honest reckoning with a complicated, painful, and even shameful past. Drawing on lessons gleaned from case studies of communities beginning to face these challenges, he argues that contemporary white Christians must confront these unsettling truths because it is the only way to salvage the integrity of their faith and their own identities. Read More

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Being Again: James Baldwin's America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own, by Eddie S. Glaude Jr

On the Lived Theology Reading List: Begin Again

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According to Eddie S. Glaude Jr., we live at a time in which those who attempt to achieve a new, better America have been challenged by the election of Trump, a president whose victory represents yet another failure of America to face the lies it tells itself about race. His administration has embraced and advanced the the insidious belief that white people matter more than others, giving rise to horrific events. Read More

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“God and Guns in America” Published

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What if Christians did more than offer thoughts and prayers in response to gun violence? Ethicist Michael Austin argues—from a Christian but nonpacifist perspective—that we can impose firearms restrictions to make our society safer and less fearful while still respecting the rights of responsible gun owners. God and Guns in America is a thoughtful, measured, and articulate treatment of a polarizing topic that is too often treated with more heat than light. Read More

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American Prophets: The Religious Roots of Progressive Politics and the Ongoing Fight for the Soul of the Country, by Jack Jenkins

On the Lived Theology Reading List: American Prophets

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In American Prophets, author Jack Jenkins discusses the Religious Left, an amorphous group of interfaith activists that has operated since America’s founding — praying, protesting, and marching for common goals that have moved society forward. This idea is in direct opposition to the typical view of religion in American politics, which centers the Religious Right, an organization thought to be driven by a coalition of fundamentalist powerbrokers who are the “moral majority.” Read More

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Building a Latino Civil Rights Movement: Puerto Ricans, African Americans, and the Pursuit of Racial Justice in New York City, by Sonia Song-Ha Lee

On the Lived Theology Reading List: Building a Latino Civil Rights Movement

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In Building a Latino Civil Rights Movement, author Sonia Lee traces the rise and fall of an uneasy coalition between Puerto Rican and African American activists from the 1950s through the 1970s in the first book-length history of Puerto Rican civil rights in New York City. Drawing on extensive archival research and oral history interviews, she vividly portrays this crucial chapter in postwar New York. Read More

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Faith and Struggle in the Lives of Four African Americans: Ethel Waters, Mary Lou Williams, Eldridge Cleaver, and Muhammad Ali, by Randal Jelks

On the Lived Theology Reading List: Faith and Struggle in the Lives of Four African Americans

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In Faith and Struggle in the Lives of Four African Americans, author Randal Jelks shows that to understand the black American experience beyond the larger narratives of enslavement, emancipation, and Black Lives Matter, we need to hear the individual stories. Drawing on his own experiences growing up as a religious African American, Jelks explores the faith stories of four African Americans: Ethel Waters, Mary Lou Williams, Eldridge Cleaver, and Muhammad Ali. Read More

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Mormonism and White Supremacy: American Religion and the Problem of Racial Innocence, by Joanna Brooks

On the Lived Theology Reading List: Mormonism and White Supremacy

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In Mormonism and White Supremacy: American Religion and the Problem of Racial Innocence, author Joanna Brooks examines the racist traditions present in her own religion in order to bring to light the role American Christianity has played in sustaining everyday white supremacy by assuring white people of their innocence. Like most difficult subjects in Mormon history and practice, the priesthood and temple ban on Blacks has been managed carefully in LDS institutional settings with a combination of avoidance, denial, selective truth-telling, and determined silence. Read More

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Black Theology and Black Power 50th Anniversary Edition, by James H. Cone

On the Lived Theology Reading List: Black Theology and Black Power

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In Black Theology and Black Power, author James Cone relates the militant struggle for liberation with the gospel message of salvation. When this book was first published in 1969, it was the first systematic presentation of Black Theology, and laid the foundations for an interpretation of Christianity from the perspective of the oppressed that retains its urgency and challenge today. Read More

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