In Dividing the Faith: The Rise of Segregated Churches in the Early American North (NYU Press, 2020), Richard J. Boles argues that, contrary to traditional American religious historiography, interracial worship was a common and accepted practice in many northern Protestant churches in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. As Northern states outlawed slavery, Christians hardened their stances on segregation and discrimination, leading to racially divided Protestantism in the nineteenth century. Using archival sources from over four hundred congregations, Boles illuminates the complex racial and religious dynamics of the early American north and adds significant understanding to our knowledge of race in American religious history.
Lane Davis is a doctoral candidate in the Graduate Program in Religious Studies at Southern Methodist University where he studies American religious history. Find him on Twitter @TheeLaneDavis