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A Theology of Brotherhood: The Federal Council of Churches and the Problem of Race
Curtis J. Evans
Wednesday, June 19, 2024
1-2 pm EDT


A Theology of Brotherhood explores how the national umbrella Christian organization, the Federal Council of Churches, acted as a crucial conduit and organizational force for the dissemination of “progressive” views on race in the first half of the twentieth century.

Drawing on years of archival research, Dr. Curtis J. Evans shows that the Council’s theological approach to race, and in particular its anti-lynching campaign, were responsible for meaningful progress on racial issues in some white Protestant churches. The book highlights the contributions that their religious vision made in expanding and propagating a civic nationalist tradition that was grounded in a “universal brotherhood” and belief in the equality of all human beings, over and against a racial nationalist ideology that conceived of America in ethno-racial terms.

Learn more about the work of Dr. George Edmund Haynes, an African-American Congregationalist who was the Executive Secretary of the FCC Commission on Church and Race Relations during the 1920s and 1930s. A graduate of Fisk and Yale, Haynes was one of the first African Americans to receive a PhD from Columbia University. He co-founded and served as the Executive Director of the National Urban League before playing a pivotal role in the Federal Council of Churches.

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Curtis J. Evans is Associate Professor of American Religions and the History of Christianity at the University of Chicago Divinity School. He is also the author of The Burden of Black Religion.