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The Ghost Of Marx And The Stench Of Deprivation: Cutting The Ties That Bind In The Study Of Religion And Class

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Chapter Summary

This chapter argues that scholars must break with much past scholarship and take the study of religion and class in new directions. It focuses on three arenas crucial to such a task: definitions and theories of class, American religious history, and studies of contemporary, lived religions. Class, like religion, is a term whose definition dictates how it is studied. Defining what religion is determines what scholars can research as religion. The most traveled paths for examining class in American religious history have focused intensively on issues of labor and religion. Higginbothams subject is black womens influence on the National Baptist Convention, U.S.A., and the rise of parallel black Baptist womens conventions. Historians, religious studies scholars, theorists, sociologists, and religious ethnographers can all benefit from examining each others work on the subject, which will in turn benefit the future study of class and American religion.

Keywords: American religious history; Higginbotham; National Baptist Convention



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