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The Nation and the Church: What the Church can Learn from the Nation of Islam Today

Tyler Halstead


This article takes an ethnographic approach to examining the present day Nation of Islam (NOI) and the implications of its history and sustained efficacy for the Church. Research centers around several devout members of the NOI living on Chicago's south side. Themes discussed in the article focus on concepts of African American identity, ultimate truth, divine judgment, and self-pride, all of which serve the purpose of elevating group and individual self-confidence and independence. In light of the rise to prominence of the NOI and its message, as well as its continued viability long after its founders have passed away, implications for the Church and its relationship with African Americans are explored and suggestions are made for the Church moving forward. 


Nation of Islam, African American Identity, Elijah Muhammad, Louis Farrakhan, Chicago

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Copyright (c) 2019 Tyler Jacob Halstead

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.