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The Challenge of Ecumenical Advocacy

The Challenge of Ecumenical Advocacy

Interfaith Impact for Justice and Peace

Chapter:
(p.283) Chapter Eight The Challenge of Ecumenical Advocacy
Source:
Public Pulpits
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226804767.003.0008

The rise and fall of Interfaith Impact for Justice and Peace from 1975 to 1995 offers a telling example of the conflict between two models of the public church in mainline Protestantism within its wider institutional landscape in America today. One is a model of broad social teaching and focused policy research typically situated in and around the established offices of the mainline denominations. The other is a model of mass mobilization and political organizing, forged in the moral inspiration and outrage of sweeping social movements such as temperance and civil rights, but now often recast in freestanding, membership-based lobbying groups focused on hot-button issues. Today the mainline churches and interdenominational bodies such as the National Council of Churches face new challenges and possibilities in a more diversified public square.

Keywords:   Interfaith Impact for Justice and Peace, public church, Protestantism, America, mass mobilization, civil rights, National Council of Churches, mainline churches, social movements

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