Estranged Pioneers Race, Faith, and Leadership in a Diverse World

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Estranged Pioneers Race, Faith, and Leadership in a Diverse World by Edwards, Korie Little; Kim, Rebecca Y., 9780197638309
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  • ISBN: 9780197638309 | 0197638309
  • Cover: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 12/8/2023

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Churches remain some of the most segregated spaces in the United States. In congregations that are multiracial, leadership can be a source of conflict. What does it mean for pastors of color to lead in multiracial spaces? Who are the pastors of color that serve as head clergy of multiracial congregations? What advantages do they have and what challenges do they encounter? How do they manage their role? How do their experiences compare to their white pastor counterparts who also head multiracial congregations?

Drawing on data from a nationally representative comparative study of multiracial congregations across the United States, including more than 100 in-depth interviews, Estranged Pioneers both answers these questions and discusses the broader implications for community leaders in multiracial contexts.

Korie Little Edwards and Rebecca Y. Kim make three primary arguments. First, pastors of color who lead multiracial congregations are estranged pioneers-they leave their familiar home churches to lead multiracial congregations, but often find themselves estranged from their old religious community as well as their new one. Second, compared to their white counterparts, they are better able to recognize pervasive white hegemony and also more easily cross cultural and racial boundaries, allowing them to reconcile norms from at least two cultures. Finally, Edwards and Kim argue that leaders of color can function as indispensable brokers who can bridge segregated racial networks. In a society that is increasingly diverse yet where segregation persists, they have the unique power and ability to function as bridges that connect otherwise segregated communities. Estranged Pioneers reveals how pastors of color are leading the way towards a more united multiracial future.
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