On the Lived Theology Reading List: Harold T. Lewis and Yet With a Steady Beat

African Americans in Episcopal ChurchPLT Fellow Traveler Harold T. Lewis chronicles the African American struggle for recognition in the Episcopal Church

Although the Episcopal Church was the first to establish a black congregation, African Americans are still working to achieve a unified body in which their beliefs are recognized not through social prejudices but the lens of the Catholic faith.

From the publisher:

In a nation in which 80 percent of the black Christian population belong to black denominations, it has seemed incongruous to many that the descendants of slaves and the descendants of slaveholders could together find a spiritual home in the Episcopal Church. Moreover, the mode of religious expression of Anglicanism has been seen as incompatible with the black religious ethos. Attempts to explain this phenomenon frequently dismiss black Episcopalians as social climbers, and their authenticity as African Americans, and even as Christians, is called into question. Yet With a Steady Beat, however, argues that blacks have remained in the Episcopal Church because they have recognized it as catholic and therefore inclusive institution. For two hundred years blacks have challenged the church to be true to its catholic claims and have used this principle as a basis for their demands for recognition. This book chronicles the “steady beat” of that challenge.

To read more on this publication, click here.

Harold T. Lewis, former staff officer for Black Ministries at the Episcopal Church Center in New York, is a parish priest in the Diocese of Long Island, Professor of Homiletics at the George Mercer School of Theology, and Adjunct Professor of Preaching at New York Theological Seminary.

Fellow travelers are scholars, activists, and practitioners that embody the ideals and commitments of the Project on Lived Theology. We admire their work and are grateful to be walking alongside them in the development and dissemination of Lived Theology.

For more of “On the Lived Theology Reading List,” click here. To engage in the conversation on Facebook and Twitter, @LivedTheology, please use #LivedTheologyReads. For more recommended resources from our Fellow Travelers, click here, #PLTfellowtravelers.