The Religion of White Rage

Religious Fervor, White Workers and the Myth of Black Racial Progress

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Stephen C. Finley, Biko Mandela Gray, Lori Latrice Martin
  • Edinburgh: 
    Edinburgh University Press
    , September
     360 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by Rachel C. Schneider forthcoming.


Critically analyzes the historical, cultural and political dimensions of white religious rage in America, past and present.

  • Argues that religion and race – not economics – are the primary motivating factors for the rise of white rage and white supremacist sentiment in the USA
  • Makes key interventions in labour studies and American religious studies
  • Examines the mythological and sociological construct of the 'white labourer'
  • Uncovers the sociological and religious origins of white anxiety
  • Uses the perspectives of theory and method in religious studies, affect studies and critical whiteness studies
  • Shows that white rage is a phenomenon that moves in and through the institutional legitimation of certain forms of white expression and engagement, both 'liberal' and 'conservative'

This book sheds light on the phenomenon of white rage, and maps out the uneasy relationship between white anxiety, religious fervour, American identity and perceived black racial progress. Contributors to the volume examine the sociological construct of the 'white labourer', whose concerns and beliefs can be understood as religious in foundation. They uncover that white religious fervor correlates to notions of perceived white loss and perceived black progress.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Stephen C. Finley is Associate Professor of Religious Studies and African & African American Studies and Director of the African & African American Studies Program at Louisiana State University. He is co-editor of authored Esotericism in African American Religious Experience: “There Is a Mystery”… (with Margarita Guillory and Hugh Page Jr, Brill, 2014) and author of the monograph, In and Out of This World: Material and Extraterrestrial Bodies in the Nation of Islam.

Biko Mandela Gray is Assistant Professor of Religion at Syracuse University. He is working on his first monograph, tentatively called Black Life Matter, wherein he turns to those lost to state-sanctioned violence in order to theorise blackness and religion as critical sites for subject-formation. He has published articles in Religion Compass and Journal of Africana Religions, and he has an upcoming article that will be published in Correspondences on the relationship between blackness and mysticism in the study of Western Esotericism.

Lori Latrice Martin is Professor in the Department of Sociology and African and African American Studies at Louisiana State University. Dr. Martin is the author of numerous scholarly works. Martin's most recent publications include South Baton Rouge, Black Asset Poverty and the Enduring Racial DivideColor Struck and Big Box Schools: Race, Education, and the Danger of the Wal-Martization of American Public Schools.


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