Trim: 6¼ x 9½
978-1-4985-3035-4 • Hardback • November 2017 • $111.00 • (£85.00)
978-1-4985-3037-8 • Paperback • September 2019 • $44.99 • (£35.00)
978-1-4985-3036-1 • eBook • November 2017 • $42.50 • (£33.00)
Robert A. Wortham is associate dean of the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences and professor of sociology at North Carolina Central University.
W. E. B. Du Bois and the Sociological Study of the Black Church and Religion, 1897–1914: Editor’s Introduction
Part 1: Articles and Book Chapters on the Black Church and Religion
1.The Problem of Amusement
2.Farmville, VA, the Negro Church and Social Class
3.The Negro Church in Philadelphia
4.The Development of a People
5.Religion in the South
6.The Negro in Literature and Art
Part 2: Poetry, Prayers, Editorials and Opinions Related to the Black Church and Religion
7.Credo, Litany at Atlanta and A Hymn to the People
8.Prayers for Dark People
9.Selected Editorials and Opinions on the Black Church and Religion from The Crisis
Part 3: Selections from The Souls of Black Folk
10.Of the Faith of the Fathers
11.Of Alexander Crummell
12.The Sorrow Songs
Part 4: Atlanta University Conference Studies Addressing the Black Church
13.The Negro Church and Social Betterment
14.Primitive Negro Religion and the Effect of Transplanting
15.Negro Laymen and the Church
16.Religious Beliefs and Practices among Atlanta’s African American Public School Children
17.The Black Church in Atlanta, 1902 and 1912
18.The Black Church and Social Reform
Sociology emerged as a discipline in the US in the final years of the 19th century. This excellent collection of Du Bois’s early writings on the role religion and the church played in black life situates his early pioneering sociological work within the context of the newly emerging discipline. The volume includes poetry, prayers, editorials, and quantitative and qualitative empirical studies. Fans of Du Bois will be familiar with selections from The Philadelphia Negro (1899) and The Souls of Black Folk (1903). Perhaps Du Bois's most important sociological endeavor is displayed in his Atlanta University Conference Studies (1906–13), which set the stage for his life-long devotion to the development of African Americans and black people globally. This insightful material reveals issues the black clergy faced, how on behalf of congregations the black church dealt with education, health, employment, and a vast range of social and political issues—including slave revolts led by Denmark Vesey and Nat Turner. The writings are an important source for those interested in how Du Bois applied his scientific training to address questions regarding group development under legal segregation. Du Bois intended the conference studies to be longitudinal (repeated every ten years over a 100-year period) to provide empirical evidence of group advancement.
Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty and professionals; general readers.
— Choice Reviews
Wortham is to be commended for this fascinating volume that aptly probes the breadth and depth of Du Bois’ writings on the black church and religion. This book adds an unexplored dimension to the expanding literature about Du Bois, whom Wortham informs us, is the founding father of the sociology of religion.
— Dan S. Green, Kentucky State University
W. E. B. Du Bois wrote and said so much during his long and storied life that over fifty years after his death we continue to reevaluate and discover the relevance of his work for the twenty-first century. It can be said with no hyperbole that Robert Wortham has been at the forefront of contemporary reconsiderations of Du Bois’s contributions to the development of scientific sociology. The eighteen African American church and African American religion-focused essays collected here are further evidence of not only Du Bois’s genius, but also of Wortham’s keen editorial eye and ongoing emphasis on Du Bois’s pivotal place in serious discussions of the origins and early evolution of American sociology.
— Reiland Rabaka, University of Colorado, Boulder
Robert Wortham, well known scholar in the early sociological writings of W. E. B Du Bois, here provides us with a much needed and long overdue compendium of Du Bois’ early writings on religion, especially among African Americans. The sagacious writings on the Black Church and religion writ large by one of America's pioneering social theorists are presented anew to critical effect. This is a significant text for the twenty-first century reader interested in understanding the intersections between religion and race in America's ongoing struggle for social justice and freedom.
— Alton B. Pollard, III, Howard University