Encyclopedia of Religion
and Society

William H. Swatos, Jr. Editor

Table of Contents | Cover Page  |  Editors  |  Contributors  |  Introduction  |  Web Version

(1868-1963) As part of his effort to comprehend the complexity of African American social life, W. E. B. Du Bois, a renowned scholar and radical activist based for most of his career at Atlanta University, examined various aspects of black religion in American society.

In his The Philadelphia Negro (Schocken 1962 [1899]), he presented the first social survey of black congregations in an urban community. Du Bois's classic The Negro Church (Atlanta University Press 1903) serves as the baseline for the social scientific study of African American religion in the United States. Although a critic of specific black denominational practices, early in his career he viewed the "black church" as an important vehicle for African American liberation.

Hans A. Baer


M. Marable, Du Bois (Boston: Twayne, 1986).

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