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Podcast: Long-forgotten sermons that shaped the civil rights movement

Listen to a conversation about how long-forgotten sermons and speeches shaped the civil rights movement.

16th Street Baptist Church


16th Street Baptist Church

16th Street Baptist Church


This week is the the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The act is one of the most important laws ever enacted in the U.S., but it would not have happened without the civil rights movement, a movement infused with religion.

In this podcast, host Tony Gill talks with David Dixon of St. Joseph’s College about his efforts to document how religion shaped the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. Dixon and his colleague Davis Houck have been gathering long-forgotten sermons and speeches that gave the movement its religious language. Dixon talks about the themes they found in the religious language of the movement, particularly the hopeful references to the liberation found in Exodus and Amos. The podcast not only paints a picture of how religion shaped the civil rights movement, it also gives a glimpse at how researchers approach this topic, from the mundane frustrations of copyrights to the interweaving of a researcher’s subject and personal life.

Corner of Church & State blog is partnering with Research on Religion by bringing you one of its podcasts. Research on Religion is a weekly conversation designed to facilitate a jargon-free discussion of major topics within the social scientific study of religion. They are a unique way to not only learn about religion but also about those who study religion. Each podcast is hosted by Tony Gill, a professor of political science at the University of Washington and a Distinguished Senior Fellow at Baylor’s Institute for Studies of Religion (the podcast is supported by Baylor’s ISR).  This week’s podcast features Richard Hammar, a lawyer and accountant who specializes in church law and taxation, on some of the unique taxation and liability issues that face clergy and religious communities.  

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