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A (Multi-) Story-formed Community: The Bible and Politics at Ebenezer Baptist Church

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This article analyzes the ways multiple formative narratives interact to shape the identity and political practices of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, home of Martin Luther King. We argue that the two key narratives of gospel story in scripture and the church’s particular civil rights legacy form the identity and practice of this community in complicated ways: sometimes they are synthesized, sometimes one narrative is temporally merged into the other, and sometimes they operate as competing narratives, generating a tension. We offer three anecdotes from our original research that illustrate the relationship between these narratives and demonstrate that Ebenezer is a community whose identity and political practices are formed by the overlap and interplay of multiple narratives.

Affiliations: 1: The Project on Lived Theology, University of Virginia, USA,


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