Shades of White Flight: Evangelical Congregations and

Shades of White Flight: Evangelical Congregations and Urban Departure ➮ [Read] ➪ Shades of White Flight: Evangelical Congregations and Urban Departure By Mark T. Mulder ➺ – Thomashillier.co.uk Since World War II, historians have analyzed a phenomenon of white flight plaguing the urban areas of the northern United States One of the most interesting cases of white flight occurred in the Chica Since World War II, historians White Flight: ePUB ´ have analyzed a phenomenon of white flight plaguing the urban areas of the northern United States One of the most interesting cases of white flight occurred in the Chicago neighborhoods of Englewood and Roseland, where seven entire church congregations from one denomination, the Christian Reformed Church, left the city in the s and s and relocated their churches to nearby suburbs In Shades of White Flight, sociologist Mark T Mulder investigates the migration of these Chicago church members, revealing how these churches not only failed to inhibit Shades of PDF/EPUB ² white flight, but actually facilitated the congregations departure Using a wealth of both archival and interview data, Mulder sheds light on the forces that shaped these midwestern neighborhoods and shows that, surprisingly, evangelical religion fostered both segregation as well as the decline of urban stability Indeed, the Roseland and Englewood stories show how religion often used to foster community and social connectedness can sometimes help to disintegrate neighborhoods Mulder describes how the Dutch CRC formed an insular social circle that focused on the local church and Christian school instead of the local park of White Flight: Epub Û or square or market as the center point of the community Rather than embrace the larger community, the CRC subculture sheltered themselves and their families within these two places Thus it became relatively easy when black families moved into the neighborhood to sell the church and school and relocate in the suburbs This is especially true because, in these congregations, authority rested at the local church level and in fact they owned the buildings themselves Revealing how a dominant form of evangelical church polity congregationalism functioned within the larger phenomenon of white flight, Shades of White Flight lends new insights into the role of religion and how it can affect social change, not always for the better.


10 thoughts on “Shades of White Flight: Evangelical Congregations and Urban Departure

  1. Jonathan Hiskes Jonathan Hiskes says:

    Mark Mulder makes a compelling sociological case for why the Dutch Christian Reformed of Chicago my people failed to invest in racially integrated neighborhoods as they moved ever outward from Englewood to Roseland to inner ring suburbs to outer suburbs the precise path my family took over several generations.He argues, first off, that the individualistic nature of American Protestantism makes it uniquely un suited to understand and address structural injustice, particularly racism Second, Mark Mulder makes a compelling sociological case for why the Dutch Christian Reformed of Chicago my people failed to invest in racially integrated neighborhoods as they moved ever outward from Englewood to Roseland to inner ring suburbs to outer suburbs the precise path my family took over several generations.He argues, first off, that the individualistic nature of American Protestantism makes it uniquely un suited to understand and address structural injustice, particularly racism Second, the Dutch Calvinist history of schism and mobility they left the Netherlands, after all , gave it a template for pulling up stakes and moving somewhere new Third, the closed off nature of a religious ethnic subculture that kept its own social circle, churches, schools, even businesses, left it with weak civic ties to broader neighborhoods Finally, the church power structure left individual congregations free to choose their own future even as the denomination urged them to stay in the inner city Mulder situates his study in the broader scholarship about white flight by arguing that role of religion is an under explored factor Mulder s argument is quite harsh toward Dutch CRC Chicago, even though he doesn t set out to be judgmental Rather than focusing on individual heroes or villains, he tells a structural story of organizations, drawing on church consistory records from the 60s and 70s In the same way that racism manifests not just as personal sin but through structures like exclusive housing covenants, predatory loans, highway construction, and on, the behavior of organizations matters as much as the behavior of individuals.He s not wrong Yet, 2,000 miles away, I found myself feeling defensive for my people The Chicago Dutch were one small group eking out a living in the stormy, husky, brawling city Surely my predecessors had to adapt for their own livelihoods They lived within the context of broader racism toward African Americans Isabel Wilkerson s The Warm of Other Suns, in particular, convinced me that Cicero s nickname of the Selma of the North was no joke Mulder tells the story of Timothy Christian School s failure to integrate in Cicero This sort of personal justification misses the point Looking after our own will never help us move beyond petty tribal squabbles until we can expand our notion of our own to include all of God s children We need systemic explanations to help us understand structural forces shaping our world Yet we also need particular stories about particular people I ve written in Image journal about Peter De Vries, the Dutch Calvinist humorist who left Chicago for a long literary career at the New Yorker, and how his atheism shook me as a teenager and later left me grateful for the intellectual freedom it demonstrated I wouldn t understand my people without his novels and the stories my family tells, or without Mulder s account His book makes me want to hear a lotfrom my aunts and uncles about their experiences growing up in these neighborhoods We need both novelists and sociologists, I suppose


  2. Hannah Notess Hannah Notess says:

    This book has sparked so many thoughts and questions In one sense it is just an academic sociological history of a small community, but in another sense it records the kind of disconnect between actions and intentions that so many of us white American Christians have participated in knowingly or unknowingly and contributed to racial injustice in our cities The results of these failures and sins stay with all of us.The account of the failure of Timothy Christian School to integrate is both hard This book has sparked so many thoughts and questions In one sense it is just an academic sociological history of a small community, but in another sense it records the kind of disconnect between actions and intentions that so many of us white American Christians have participated in knowingly or unknowingly and contributed to racial injustice in our cities The results of these failures and sins stay with all of us.The account of the failure of Timothy Christian School to integrate is both hard and important to read.Automatic four stars for a clear and easy to follow one chapter history of the CRC, which I married intothan a decade ago but understand much better after that one chapter And another star for causing painful soul searching and self examination during Lent


  3. Jeremy Jeremy says:

    I will be writing a review, hopefully for the Journal of Urban Mission It is disheartening to read about how 7 CRC churches systematically contributed to the white flight phenomenon in Chicago in the 1960 70s There are certainly lessons to be learned from Mulder s research may we think carefully through those lessons even as the tide reverses and now whites continue moving into cities with the growing phenomenon of gentrification.


  4. David Krueger David Krueger says:

    Listen to my interview with the author at Listen to my interview with the author at


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