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date: 25 June 2022

Abstract and Keywords

In June 2015, Dylann Roof murdered nine members of Charleston’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. The Introduction to The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Race in American History offers a theoretical and historical overview of the interdependencies of religion and race in America to unpack the religious roots of racial violence, such as occurred in Charleston, and the religious underpinnings of antiracist resistance. This overview also shows how ideas about race have shaped the category of religion itself, helping to define what counts as protectable under the First Amendment, and what does not. Finally, the Introduction explains the organization of the Handbook and provides summaries of the essays therein. The first part of the Handbook offers theoretical and topical overviews, from analyses of key terms and intersections to chapters focused on particular traditions across American history. The second part of the Handbook provides chronologically contained accounts of specific historical periods.

Keywords: religion, race, United States, slavery, Christianity, immigration, violence, popular culture, religious freedom, gender, sexuality

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