In his new book, historian and Boston College alumnus Richard Boles argues that, contrary to the traditional scholarly consensus, a significant portion of northern Protestants in the United States worshipped in interracial contexts during the 18th century. Yet in another 50 years, churches were by-and-large segregated. Dividing the Faith: The Rise of Segregated Churches in the Early American North (New York University Press) breaks new ground and explains the origins and history of racial integration and segregation in northern colonies and states. Boles draws from the records of more than 400 congregations to scrutinize the factors that made different Christian traditions either accessible or inaccessible to African American and American Indian peoples. It also uses patterns of church participation to illuminate broader social histories. Boles earned a bachelor of science degree and a master’s degree in history from Boston College. He is an assistant professor of history at Oklahoma State University.
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