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Steeple Solidarity: Mainline Church Renewal and the Union Corporate Campaign

30 Pages Posted: 14 Mar 2015 Last revised: 30 Apr 2016

Michael M Oswalt

Northern Illinois College of Law

Date Written: August 1, 2011

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Oswalt, Michael M, Steeple Solidarity: Mainline Church Renewal and the Union Corporate Campaign (August 1, 2011). 50 Catholic Lawyer 227 (2011). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2577415

Michael M Oswalt (Contact Author)

Northern Illinois College of Law ( email )

Swen Parson Hall
DeKalb, IL 60115
United States

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