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Professor publishes book on black megachurch phenomenon

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

FREDERICK, Md.—A Hood College faculty member has published a book that provides the first empirical study of the black megachurch phenomenon and analyzes the numerous ways in which they have responded to the changing social climate in the United States.

"The Black Megachurch: Theology, Gender, and the Politics of Public Engagement," by Tamelyn Tucker-Worgs, Ph.D., associate professor of political science, was released in mid-August. To mark the book's publication, she will give a lecture followed by a book signing and a reception Oct. 4 at 6:30 p.m. in Whitaker Campus Center at Hood College.

The book, described by scholars and critics as an important and enduring resource, focuses on 149 megachurches—contemporary products of the Civil Rights Movement that boast memberships of tens of thousands—to determine how the church communities, which hold many of the tools necessary to address America's contemporary social inequalities, are engaging the public sphere and why their approaches are so varied. Tucker-Worgs considered the three factors most necessary for social engagement—theological orientation, organization of community development initiatives and gender-based spheres of labor and leadership—to conclude that while some of the churches have lived up to their potential, others have not.

Sponsors of the event include Hood's political science, philosophy and religious studies departments, the honors and African American studies programs, the office of the provost and the dean of the chapel.

For more information, contact Hoda Zaki, Ph.D., professor of political science, a hzaki@hood.edu.