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Religion has been a powerful political force throughout American history. When race enters the mix the results have been some of our greatest triumphs as a nation--and some of our most shameful failures. In this important book, Mark Noll, one of the most influential historians of American religion writing today, traces the explosive political effects of the religious intermingling with race. Noll demonstrates how supporters and opponents of slavery and segregation drew equally on the Bible to justify the morality of their positions. He shows how a common evangelical heritage supported Jim Crow discrimination and contributed powerfully to the black theology of liberation preached by Martin Luther King Jr. In probing such connections, Noll takes readers from the 1830 slave revolt of Nat Turner through Reconstruction and the long Jim Crow era, from the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s to "values" voting in recent presidential elections. He argues that the greatest transformations in American political history, from the Civil War through the civil rights revolution and beyond, constitute an interconnected narrative in which opposing appeals to Biblical truth gave rise to often-contradictory religious and moral complexities. And he shows how this heritage remains alive today in controversies surrounding stem-cell research and abortion as well as civil rights reform.
Contents: Henry Bernstein, Colin Leys, Leo Panitch: Reflections on Violence Today; Vivek Chibber: American Militarism and the US Political Establishment - the Real Lessons of the Invasion of Iraq; Philip Green: On-screen Barbarism - Violence in US Visual Culture; Ruth Wilson Gilmore: Race, Prisons and War: Scenes from the History of US Violence; Joe Sim & Steve Tombs: State talk, state silence - work and 'violence' in the UK; Lynne Segal: Violence's Victims - the Gender Landscape; Barbara Harriss-White: Girls as Disposable Commodities in India; Achin Vanaik: India's Paradigmatic Communal Violence; Tania Murray Li: Reflections on Indonesian Violence - Two Tales and Three Silences; Ulrich Oslender: Colombia - Old and New Patterns of Violence; Sofiri Joab-Peterside & Anna Zalik: The Commodification of Violence in the Niger Delta; Dennis Rodgers & Steffen Jensen: Revolutionaries, Barbarians or War Machines? Gangs in Nicaragua and South Africa; Michael Brie: Emancipation and the Left - the Issue of Violence; Samir Amin: Tehe defence of humanity requires the radicalisation of popular struggles; John Berger: Human Shield.