Between Symbolism and Substance: The Politics of Racial Reconciliation within U.S. and South African Churches

R. Drew Smith

During the 1990s, a number of predominantly white American and South African denominations with segregationist pasts and minimal involvements with civil rights or anti-apartheid activism issued formal apologies for their racial shortcomings. R. Drew Smith argues that these recent reconciliation initiatives, while noteworthy, will do little to bridge racial divisions within these denominations unless paralleled by substantive denominational commitments to black civil rights and equal opportunities. Mr. Smith, who serves as Scholar-in-Residence at the Leadership Center at Morehouse College, published a similar version of this article in Race, Ethnicity, and Reconciliation: A Multicultural and Comparative Dialogue edited by William E. Van Vugt (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2000).

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Last Updated: April 7, 2001
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