Divided by Faith: Evangelical Religion and the Problem of Race in America by Christian Smith and Michael O. Emerson
White Evangelicals’ tendency to individualize issues and dismiss systemic explanations is not happenstance; rather, it follows naturally and inevitably from their (our? my?) defining religious beliefs. When the only thing that matters is a personal saving relationship with Jesus, it’s difficult to view anything outside of the lens of accountable freewill individualism.
This book reshaped my understanding of the history of Protestantism in the United States, and has challenged me to explore what Protestantism outside of Evangelicalism looks like and how it might enable or encourage different kinds thinking about race issues.