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.
First Sunday Introduction
Revival: Strange Meetings
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?"
Thursday Televangelism (and Shifting Discourses of Progress)
Revival : "Loosed Women"
Friday Financial Priorities
Saturday Sexual Politics
Second Sunday Conclusion
Marla F. Frederick is Assistant Professor of Religion and African American Studies at Harvard University.
“Outstanding. . . . A finely honed narrative.”—L. H. Mamiya Choice: Current Reviews For Academic Libraries
“Marla Frederick has provided her readers with an excellent ethnographic study of black church women in the rural and economically depressed area of Halifax County, North Carolina. . . . It is written in a personable style, well documented and a good length for use with undergraduate students.”—Barbara J. Denison Sociology Of Religion
"A wonderful ethnographic study of the role of religion in a southern rural community. Through a complex and fascinating array of African American women's voices, Marla Frederick speaks to the power of religious consciousness for social change today."—Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, Professor of History and Afro-American Studies, Harvard University
"Every once in a great while, a work that is remarkable, original, and truly distinguished rises to the top of the pile of books glutting American bookstores-and this is that one. Between Sundays may just reshape the entire field, obliging scholars and educated readers to consider African American religion and gender in a new, fantastic light."—R. Marie Griffith, Princeton University, author of God's Daughters: Evangelical Women and the Power of Submission
"Frederick has made an extremely significant contribution to the literature of African American women's religious histories and experience. A powerful and engaging portrait of a fascinating group of black Southern women. "—Judith Weisenfeld, Associate Professor of Religion, Vassar College, and author of African American Women and Christian Activism