Perseverance in the Parish? Religious Attitudes from a Black Catholic Perspective

Apr 12 2018 5pm
Swift Hall, 3rd Floor Lecture
1025 E 58th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
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Darren Davis

University of Notre Dame


Free and open to the public. Cosponsored by Catholic Theological Union and the Ethics Club at the Divinity School.

Do African-American Catholics perceive or experience aspects of racial intolerance and marginalization in their parishes? Does racial marginalization in the Church compel African-American Catholics to disengage and leave their parish? Darren Davis’ provocative new book, Perseverance in the Parish? Religious Attitudes from a Black Catholic Perspective, examines data from the first national survey of African American Catholics. He finds that African-American respondents, though small in number, are among the strongest religious identifiers in the Church. In contrast to narratives that stress the “double consciousness” of African-American Catholic churchgoers, Davis suggests that the contemporary experiences and perspectives of black Catholics do not support this framework for understanding faith in the African-American Catholic community. His lecture will deal with the results of his survey and its implications for conversations about marginalization and racial bias in the Church.

Darren W. Davis is Professor of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame. His research interests cover most areas of public opinion and political behavior. His previous book, Negative Liberty: Public Opinion and the Terrorist Attacks on America, examines the role of threat perceptions on the tradeoffs between civil liberties and security, political tolerance, and ideas of citizenship.