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TFA member Carlos Figueroa, University of Texas at Brownsville

Faith and Race in American Political Life

Edited by Robin Dale Jacobson and Nancy D. Wadsworth

Race, Ethnicity, and Politics

In his chapter titled “‘Quakerism and Racialism in Early Twentieth-Century U.S. Politics,’ Carlos Figueroa investigates the co-constitution of race and religion by looking at the intersection of Quakerism and racialism. His exploration of the work of Quaker Albert K. Smiley and Congregationalist Lyman Abbott at the Lake Mohonk Conference illuminates the ideological struggles between and among race, religion and empire. Both these religious political thinkers – at the center of discussions between imperialists and anti-imperialists – were guided by what Figueroa refers to as a ‘Christian evolutionary racialist theory.’ The ‘intersection of pragmatic Quakerism and evolutionary racialism’ informed how the Quaker Lake Mohonk Conference directed U.S. state actors to deal with the conflict between American liberalism and American imperialism in the context of governing (and racializing) U.S. overseas territories at the turn of the twentieth century.”

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