Cover image for Between Sundays : Black women and everyday struggles of faith
Between Sundays : Black women and everyday struggles of faith
Frederick, Marla Faye, 1972-
Publication Information:
Berkeley : University of California Press, [2003]

Physical Description:
xii, 263 pages ; 23 cm
Reading Level:
1380 Lexile.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BR563.N4 F73 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



To be a black woman of faith in the American South is to understand and experience spirituality in a particular way. How this understanding expresses itself in everyday practices of faith is the subject of Between Sundays, an innovative work that takes readers beyond common misconceptions and narrow assumptions about black religion and into the actual complexities of African American women's spiritual lives.

Gracefully combining narrative, interviews, and analysis, this book explores the personal, political, and spiritual commitments of a group of Baptist women whose experiences have been informed by the realities of life in a rural, southern community. In these lives, "spirituality" emerges as a space for creative agency, of vital importance to the ways in which these women interpret, inform, and reshape their social conditions--conditions often characterized by limited access to job opportunities, health care, and equitable schooling. In the words of these women, and in Marla F. Frederick's deft analysis, we see how spirituality--expressed as gratitude, empathy, or righteous discontent--operates as a transformative power in women's interactions with others, and in their own more intimate renegotiations of self.

Author Notes

Marla F. Frederick is Assistant Professor of Religion and African American Studies at Harvard University.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Frederick's ethnographic study of the everyday lives of eight black women in Halifax County is an outstanding contribution to the literature on black religion. With a wonderful personal style, Frederick (Harvard) is able to weave her own story and her interactions with the women's lives into a finely honed narrative that illuminates both the personal and the social. Frederick's main focus is on the "spirituality" of her research subjects, a "process of engagement with God" that "matures over time" and "ebbs and flows with the development of individuals." Using the days of the week, from Monday to Saturday or "between Sundays," as her framework, she weaves the larger complexity of politics, racism, and society into the individual stories of faith. Her most illuminating chapters include an analytical critique of televangelism and of sexual politics in black churches. Frederick does not answer the question of how representative her sample is of the spirituality of all black women in Halifax County. Her rejection of the "accommodation" and "resistance" typology also fails to note the dialectical interaction between these polarities. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. Advanced undergraduates and above. L. H. Mamiya Vassar College

Table of Contents

First Sunday Introduction Revival: Strange Meetings
Prophetic Engagement
Monday "Of the Meaning of Progress"
Tuesday Gratitude and Empathy Revival: Reading Church History
Wednesday Righteous Discontent Revival: "Are We a Church or a Social Change Organization?"
Priestly Transformation
Thursday Televangelism (and Shifting Discourses of Progress) Revival : "Loosed Women"
Friday Financial Priorities
Saturday Sexual Politics
Second Sunday