By Joseph T. Reiff

ISBN-10: 0190246812

ISBN-13: 9780190246815

Winner of the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters' Nonfiction Award

The dominant narrative of the position of white electorate and the white church in Mississippi's civil rights period specializes in their excessive resistance to alter. The "Born of Conviction" assertion, signed via twenty-eight white Methodist pastors and released within the Mississippi Methodist Advocate on January 2, 1963, provided an alternate witness to the segregationist celebration line. Calling for freedom of the pulpit and reminding readers of the Methodist Discipline's declare that the lessons of Jesus let "no discrimination as a result of race, colour, or creed," the pastors sought to talk to and for a usually silent but major minority of Mississippians, and to guide white Methodists to affix the dialog at the desire for racial justice. The record also expressed aid for public faculties and competition to any try to shut them, and affirmed the signers' competition to Communism. although a number of participants, either laity and clergy, voiced public confirmation of "Born of Conviction," the overpowering response was once negative-by mid-1964, eighteen of the signers had left Mississippi, facts of the demanding situations confronted through whites who provided even light dissent to large resistance within the Deep South.

Dominant narratives, although, hardly inform the total tale. The assertion prompted an important crack within the public unanimity of Mississippi white resistance. Signers and their public supporters additionally got deepest messages of gratitude for his or her stand, and 8 of the signers may stay within the Methodist ministry in Mississippi till retirement. Born of Conviction tells the tale of "the Twenty-Eight" illuminating the impression at the better tradition of this try through white clergy to aid race kinfolk switch. The publication explores the theological and moral understandings of the signers via an account in their studies earlier than, in the course of, and after the statement's book. It additionally bargains an in depth portrait of either private and non-private expressions of the theology and ethics of white Mississippi Methodists in most cases, as published by means of their responses to the "Born of Conviction" controversy.

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