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Progressive Evangelicals and the Pursuit of Social Justice$
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Brantley W. Gasaway

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781469617725

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469617725.001.0001

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“America’s Original Sin”

(p.75) 3. Racism
Progressive Evangelicals and the Pursuit of Social Justice

Brantley W. Gasaway

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter discusses how evangelical progressives viewed racism as an institutionalized injustice that needed remedial public programs and policies. It considers inequalities faced by the African American people which led to the early activism of the evangelical movement. Indignation at minorities' consistent lack of socioeconomic resources became a recurrent theme in Sojourners, The Other Side, and the publications of Evangelicals for Social Action (ESA), and leaders condemned fiscal policies that exacerbated their already disproportionate poverty. In the 1970s, progressive evangelicals participated in the growing international opposition to separation in South Africa. Evangelical leaders hoped that their movement towards racism would revolutionize how the white evangelicals interpreted racial issues.

Keywords:   Sojourners, ESA, The Other Side, African American, progressive evangelicals, racial justice

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