Streets of Glory
Church and Community in a Black Urban Neighborhood
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Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Long considered the lifeblood of black urban neighborhoods, churches are thought to be dedicated to serving their surrounding communities. But Omar McRoberts's work in Four Corners, a tough Boston neighborhood containing twenty-nine congregations, reveals a very different picture. McRoberts finds, for example, that most of the churches in Four Corners are attended and run by people who do not live in the neighborhood but who worship there because of the low overhead. These churches, McRoberts argues, are communities in and of themselves, with little or no attachment to the surrounding neighborhood. They are consequently less inclined to cooperate with neighborhood revitalization or respond to the immediate needs of neighborhood residents. Streets of Glory teaches a startling lesson about the relationship between congregations and neighborhoods that will be of interest to anyone concerned with the revitalization of the inner city.
"If we are truly interested in contemporary community life and civil society, we will want to know how churches actually work in depressed urban areas. There is no better study available on this volatile subject than this one, required reading for all would-be policy makers and citizens." - Peter J. Gomes, Boston Globe"