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Congregants were split in their response to this behavior during a church meeting. Most but not all blacks felt that these infrequent episodes were unproblematic while whites generally thought it was disruptive. The summary of the meeting and its aftermath was a good illustration of how genuine tension can arise when cultural expectations clash.

The white leadership clearly failed to show support for the pastor in an area where it would have been extremely beneficial. That said, while Edwards saw their absence as highly problematic, none of the congregants or the pastor mentioned it as a source of conflict. But in her actually summary of the incident on p. Similarly, Edwards criticizes the church for engaging in community events in the rich, white neighborhood of Mapleton, but none in the poorer, black neighborhood of Anderson, despite its greater need p. What she only mentions later is that the church is physically located in Mapleton.

Moreover, the events in Mapleton were planned by other groups and Crosstown was invited to participate. Additionally, she notes that the congregation gave financial support to organizations in Anderson, but says nothing about support of Mapleton.

The Elusive Dream: The Power of Race in Interracial Churches by Korie Edwards – ReNew Partnerships

Because of this model, she sees whites as consciously or unconsciously pressuring blacks to support white norms, white ideals, and white preferences. Unfortunately, this model runs into serious problems when we read the actual statements of black congregants. However, this is a sociological convention. For example, she notes that many black congregants praised the pastor for his expositional and logical style of preaching, which contrasted with the topical style that they saw in black churches.

About Daniel José Camacho

Behavior that white worshipers perceive as out of bounds is felt by blacks as too limiting. Yet to make interracial churches work, blacks must adjust their behavior to accommodate the predilections of whites.

They conform to white expectations in church just as they do elsewhere. Thorough, incisive, and surprising, The Elusive Dream raises provocative questions about the ongoing problem of race in the national culture. Read more Read less.

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Stephen R. Charles F. Morris L. Eduardo Bonilla-Silva. Review "An important perspective on how multiracial churches function Edwards's analysis is a testament to the continued difficulty American whites and blacks have in living equally together in communities, even communities of faith. A sobering and important book.


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  • Race matters in the U. Through spell-binding accounts of the people of an interracial congregation and through her study of churches around the country, her evidence forces us again and again to see the powerful influence whites have on interracial churches.

    The elusive dream: the power of race in interracial churches.

    Even in such congregations -- these beacons of hope for healthy integration -- whites most often get their way and people of color can reinforce this process. We may wish it were not so, but it is a reality that must be faced. The Elusive Dream is a watershed book, social analysis at its best. The Elusive Dream is a persuasive analysis of interracial congregations that raises important questions concerning the future success of interracial churches. Read more. Don't have a Kindle? Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a customer review. Showing of 3 reviews.

    Top Reviews Most recent Top Reviews. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. A well-researched and written work! Amazingly insightful! I recommend this book for any and every person that is concerned with multi-racial and multi-cultural ministry.

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    Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase. This book was so well written, and I really appreciated it's honesty. This book reveals the sad but real truth that in evangelical America social and personal preference still rule the day. One person found this helpful.