Religion and Race: Southern Presbyterians, 1946-83

Joel Alvis focuses on the relationships and tensions in the American Presbyterian Church, whose ecclesiastical boundaries never expanded significantly beyond its original territory in the Confederacy and border South. By the time of the civil rights movement, the church was actively involved in ecumenical activities despite its regional isolation; that involvement created unease in some quarters of the denomination. This institutional history describes how the church shaped and was shaped by its regional culture and explores the denomination's own culture as it struggled to determine what role racial issues and realities would have in the definition of being Presbyterian .