Praying for Justice

Praying for Justice

Faith, Order, and Community in an American Town
Anthropologist Carol J. Greenhouse offers an ethnographic study of attitudes toward conflict and law in a predominantly white, middle-class, suburban, principally Southern Baptist community.

"A most stimulating book . . . .Praying for Justice is very successful in describing a people's aversion to discord by means of cultural analysis based on sensitive use of ethnographic and archival materials. . . . There is also the pure interest in figuring out a cultural system that is not of law, but that impacts on law, one that is based on justification rather than command, on participation rather than obedience, a system of handling conflict not requiring the application of human authority. . . . This book is superlative."—Law and Society Review

"A welcome study analyzing the ideology of Southern Baptists in a suburban community in Georgia. Greenhouse's concern is how religious beliefs provide a basis for people's ideas about justice in their social order and how conflicts or potential conflicts are overcome or avoided entirely by invoking religious doctrine. . . . Her sophisticated analysis of the data is impressive and demonstrates an understanding of Southern beliefs that few scholars have achieved."—American Anthropologist

"The strength of this work is in its imaginative explanation of the structural means of conflict resolution. Greenhouse goes to painstaking length to explain the Baptist response to conflict. . . . She absorbs herself in her data and maintains that delicate balance of scholar and confidant to her subjects."—Contemporary Sociology