Date of Award

9-1-2011

Degree Type

Dissertation

University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)

School

School of Arts and Sciences

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Department

Political Science

First Advisor

Dr. Abi Awomolo

Second Advisor

Dr. Hashim Gibrill

Third Advisor

Dr. Love H. Whelchel, Jr.

Abstract

The black church plays a significant role within the black community. However, an examination of the changing role of the black church is necessary as it continues to evolve. This study examines the types and patterns of participation of black churches within the political arena and the community so that: (1) an understanding of past and present contributions of the black church to the political welfare needs of African Americans can be developed and (2) based on the above, the potential of the black church as an institution for social service and social action can be considered in the formulation of the future of political policy and social planning.

The research also proved that it is necessary to further define the traditional black church as a necessary shaper of public policy. In fact, what can be inferred from the research is that the traditional black church must reflect in its leadership persons who are active participants in the life of the community. In this regard, the research is emphatic about the role of the traditional black church that it is to continue to be an advocate for community needs, expectations, and system change. This research reemphasized the role of the church as a public conduit for relating community needs and engaging societal issues.

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