Steeple Solidarity: Mainline Church Renewal and the Union Corporate Campaign
30 Pages Posted: 14 Mar 2015 Last revised: 30 Apr 2016
Date Written: August 1, 2011
The labor movement’s heavy reliance on community support to win organizing campaigns leads it to seek out partnerships with religious institutions, including mainline protestant churches. But should mainline churches, which have experienced precipitous membership drops rivaling national union decline, join in? Yes. Setting research on modern mainline church culture against theological work by Walter Rauschenbusch and Reinhold Niebuhr suggests that proactive member engagement in workplace organizing efforts has the potential to ignite congregations in ways that other activities, from bible studies to soup kitchens to retreats, do not.
Keywords: labor, unions, churches, comprehensive campaigns, corporate campaigns, Rauschenbusch, Niebuhr, mainline
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