This Worldwide Struggle: Religion and the International Roots of the Civil Rights Movement

ISBN : 9780190262204

Sarah Azaransky
296 Pages
156 x 235 mm
Pub date
Jul 2017
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This Worldwide Struggle: Religion and the International Roots of the Civil Rights Movement examines a group of black Christian intellectuals and activists who looked abroad, even to other religious traditions, for ideas and practices that could transform American democracy. From the 1930s to the 1950s, this core group drew lessons from independence movements around for the world for an American campaign that would be part of a global network of resistance to colonialism and white supremacy. This book argues that their religious perspectives and methods of moral reasoning developed a theological blueprint for what Bayard Rustin called the "classical phase" of the Civil Rights Movement. Existing scholarship on the book's main figures, including Howard Thurman, Benjamin Mays, and William Stuart Nelson, pioneers of African American Christian nonviolence James Farmer, Pauli Murray, and Bayard Rustin, and YWCA leaders Juliette Derricotte and Sue Bailey Thurman, focuses on individuals and misses important streams of influence and creative collaborations. This book traces fertile intersections of worldwide resistance movements, explores American racial politics and interreligious exchanges that crossed literal borders and disciplinary boundaries, enriches our understanding of the international roots of the Civil Rights Movement, and offers lessons on the role of religion in justice movements.


Introduction Part of This Worldwide Struggle
Chapter 1 Spiritual Recognition of Empire (1930s)
Chapter 2 Passing Through a Similar Transition (1930s)
Chapter 3 We Can Add to the World Justice (1940s)
Chapter 4 An Admixture of Tragedy and Triumph (1940s)
Chapter 5 Opposing Injustice, First of All in Ourselves (1940s & 1950s)
Chapter 6 Moral Leadership of the World (1950s)

About the author: 

Sarah Azaransky is Assistant Professor of Social Ethics at Union Theological Seminary. She is the author of The Dream is Freedom: Pauli Murray and American Democratic Faith and the editor of Religion and Politics in America's Borderlands.

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