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Divine DiscontentThe Religious Imagination of W. E. B. Du Bois$
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Jonathon S. Kahn

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195307894

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195307894.001.0001

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“Love for These People”

“Love for These People”

racial piety as religious devotion

(p.71) 3 “Love for These People”
Divine Discontent

Jonathon S. Kahn (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that Du Bois's religious voice is at its best when it is devoted to reclaiming and recovering the spiritual strivings of black America. The pragmatists understand this project as one of natural piety, and natural piety represents a crucial religious virtue for pragmatic religious naturalism. Du Bois's uses a pragmatist's natural piety to construct a deep sense of racial loyalty that forms that heart of his understanding of black peoplehood and black nationalism. What's distinctive about Du Bois's natural piety is that he uses it to forge a black nationalism devoted to democratic participation and reform. Democracy, as Du Bois conceives of it, requires thick historical ties to race, or what Du Bois calls a “democracy of race”.

Keywords:   black nationalism, democracy, natural piety, racial piety, black America

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