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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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Awards & distinctions

2019 GHRAC Award for Excellence, Georgia Historical Records Advisory Council

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.

Reviews

“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

“Rigorously researched, passionately written, and historically nuanced, God with Us: Lived Theology and the Freedom Struggle in Americus, Georgia, 1942 – 1976 contributes to our understanding of the religious forces at play in the South during the mid-twentieth-century phase of the long black freedom struggle.”--Journal of Southern History

“Both a compelling read and a valuable resource, God with Us is well-researched, well-written, and voluminously documented. The intersections it describes—between Koininia Farm and the surrounding community, between the SNCC and SCLC and the freedom movements in Americus and Albany, between non-violent direct action and random murder, between Clarence Jordan and Martin Luther King, Jr., —make this book a signal contribution to our understanding of the lived theologies that animated both the civil rights movement and those who rejected it.”--The Journal of Southern 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