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Boundaries of the State In Us History$
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James T. Sparrow, William J. Novak, and Stephen W. Sawyer

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780226277646

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226277813.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 05 August 2021

The Rise of the Public Religious Welfare State: Black Religion and the Negotiation of Church/State Boundaries during the War on Poverty

The Rise of the Public Religious Welfare State: Black Religion and the Negotiation of Church/State Boundaries during the War on Poverty

Chapter:
(p.233) Nine The Rise of the Public Religious Welfare State: Black Religion and the Negotiation of Church/State Boundaries during the War on Poverty
Source:
Boundaries of the State In Us History
Author(s):

Omar M. McRoberts

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226277813.003.0009

This essay conceptualizes the War on Poverty as a period during which public religious capacities were incorporated into the institutional apparatus of the national welfare state. Such incorporation largely served the political needs of the welfare state itself, as it needed not only to execute but also to justify social policy to a variety of publics, including black political movements. Welfare state expansion during this period occasioned the setting of a practical boundary between public and private religion. Then, especially through the Office of Civil Rights, the Office of Economic Opportunity incorporated black religious activists, or public religionists, into the welfare state to gather reconnaissance of and influence the ideological and tactical commitments a religiously based civil rights movement field.

Keywords:   public religion, civil rights movement, War on Poverty, Office of Economic Opportunity, black churches, church and state separation

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