Cover image for Du Bois on religion
Du Bois on religion
Du Bois, W. E. B. (William Edward Burghardt), 1868-1963.
Publication Information:
Walnut Creek, CA : AltaMira Press, [2000]

Physical Description:
vii, 209 pages ; 23 cm
The problem of amusement -- The Philadelphia Negro: a social study -- Credo -- The Negro church [essay] -- Of the faith of the fathers -- Of Alexander Crummell -- A litany at Altanta -- Religion in the South -- Jesus Christ is Georgia -- The church and the Negro -- The burden of black women -- Jesus Christ in Baltimore -- Easter -- The Negro church -- The white Christ -- The gospel according to Mary Brown -- The second coming -- The prayers of God -- A hymn to the peoples -- Pontius Pilate -- The gift of the Spirit -- The color line and the church -- Will the church remove the color line? -- The Son of God -- Jacob and Esau -- The Negro and the Warsaw ghetto.
Added Author:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E185.97.D73 A322 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
E185.97.D73 A322 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Black History Non-Circ

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W.E.B. Du Bois shaped 20th century America to an extent rivaled by few others. The first black to receive a Ph. D. from Harvard, he helped create the discipline of sociology and was one of the founders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Martin Luther King, Jr. called Du Bois 'a gifted discoverer of social truths.' But until now little academic attention has been paid to his insights on religion or to how religious commitments shaped his views of race, rights and justice. Phil Zuckerman here gathers together Du Bois's writings on religion, and makes a compelling case for Du Bois to be recognized among the leading sociologists of religion. Du Bois on Religion includes selections from his well-known works such as The Souls of Black Folks to poems, prayers, stories and speeches less widely available. Brief, helpful introductions preface each of the twenty-six selections. Also, a general introduction traces Du Bois's move from church-attending Christian to relentless critic of religion and evaluates Du Bois's contributions to the study of religion. Du Bois on Religion is an important text for sociologists or for anyone interested in the history of race and religion in the United States.

Author Notes

Phil Zuckerman is a professor of sociology at Pitzer College

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Nowhere is political activist W.E.B. DuBois's special gift for keen observation and biting social analysis more evident than in these 26 short essays, selections, and stories on black religion. Editor Zuckerman (sociology, Pitzer College) includes extracts from Philadelphia Negro (1899), Souls of Black Folk (1903), and the Atlanta University Studies (1898-1914) and other well-known pieces. DuBois's remarks in Souls regarding African influences on black religious practice are juxtaposed with a Crisis editorial condemning evangelist Billy Sunday. His orientation as a social scientist is evident in a literary expression of religious themes. The poem "Credo" (1920) captures several aspects of the view of race he articulates in "Conservation of Races" (1897) and Dusk of Dawn (1940): the monogenetic theory of origin, the idea of a Negro genius, and a fierce opposition to interracial marriage. In the politically charged "Jesus Christ in Georgia" he uses a bible story to expose the evil of lynching. Clear throughout is that, despite religious skepticism, DuBois recognized the importance of the black church as a social institution. His greatest bone of contention: the question of whether black churches promote social change, or support the status quo. Useful for courses on sociology of religion, the black church, or DuBois's thought. All levels. T. L. Lott San Jose State University

Table of Contents

Phil Zuckerman
Acknowledgmentsp. vii
Introductionp. 1
1 The Problem of Amusementp. 19
2 The Philadelphia Negro: A Social Studyp. 29
3 Credop. 43
4 The Negro Church [Essay]p. 45
5 Of the Faith of the Fathersp. 47
6 Of Alexander Crummellp. 57
7 A Litany at Atlantap. 65
8 Religion in the Southp. 69
9 Jesus Christ in Georgiap. 91
10 The Church and the Negrop. 99
11 The Burden of Black Womenp. 101
12 Jesus Christ in Baltimorep. 105
13 Easterp. 107
14 The Negro Churchp. 109
15 The White Christp. 141
16 The Gospel According to Mary Brownp. 143
17 The Second Comingp. 147
18 The Prayers of Godp. 151
19 A Hymn to the Peoplesp. 155
20 Pontius Pilatep. 157
21 The Gift of the Spiritp. 161
22 The Color Line and the Churchp. 169
23 Will the Church Remove the Color Line?p. 173
24 The Son of Godp. 181
25 Jacob and Esaup. 187
26 The Negro and the Warsaw Ghettop. 197
Indexp. 203
About the Editorp. 209