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God with Us

Lived Theology and the Freedom Struggle in Americus, Georgia, 1942–1976

By Ansley L. Quiros

308 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 11 halftones, 1 map, notes, bibl., index

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-4676-3
    Published: November 2018
  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-4675-6
    Published: November 2018
  • eBook ISBN: 978-1-4696-4677-0
    Published: September 2018

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For many, the struggle over civil rights was not just about lunch counters, waiting rooms, or even access to the vote; it was also about Christian theology. Since both activists and segregationists ardently claimed that God was on their side, racial issues were imbued with religious meanings from all sides. Whether in the traditional sanctuaries of the major white Protestant denominations, in the mass meetings in black churches, or in Christian expressions of interracialism, southerners resisted, pursued, and questioned racial change within various theological traditions.

God with Us examines the theological struggle over racial justice through the story of one southern town--Americus, Georgia--where ordinary Americans sought and confronted racial change in the twentieth century. Documenting the passion and virulence of these contestations, this book offers insight into how midcentury battles over theology and race affected the rise of the Religious Right and indeed continue to resonate deeply in American life.

About the Author

Ansley L. Quiros is an assistant professor of history at the University of North Alabama.
For more information about Ansley L. Quiros, visit the Author Page.


“A valuable resource for movement historians, practical theologians, and sociologists of American religion . . . A significant attempt to contextualize the local Americus conflict within the larger movement and white resistance to it.”--Sociology of Religion

“I grew up around Americus, and Quiros has captured something I remember well: a community in flux and the tension between neighbors over issues of race and religion. The people and scenes are vivid and the story well told. Additionally, it captures something dear to me--the power found in Christian theology.”--President Jimmy Carter

"This outstanding book tells a new story of the civil rights movement in southwest Georgia, inflecting the national and regional conversation with local flare. Quiros allows us to see how the bright light moments of the movement played out in ordinary lives."--Doug Thompson, Mercer University

"Ansley Quiros argues that the freedom struggle must be seen as a theological and religious movement as much as a political event, and deftly deploys the concept of lived theology in service of her thesis. Her intense focus on the particular locale of Americus, Georgia gives the thesis, and the book, its vibrant life."--Paul Harvey, University of Colorado

"I've been eagerly awaiting the publication of this book, and I'm thrilled to say it exceeds all expectations. Quiros unravels the mystery of Koinonia Farm’s complicated relation to the civil rights movement and brings high theological drama to the Americus story. Deeply researched and beautifully written, each page is a revelation. It's the rare academic study that speaks directly to the most vexing and persisting challenges of the day. I will carry this book into classrooms, public lectures, congregations, and community-building initiatives, and cleave to its insights, wisdom, and chastened hopes in the uncertain years ahead."--Charles Marsh, University of Virginia