“Mighty Like A River”: The Black Protestant Church and Violence in Black Communities1

Casey T. Harris, Jeffery T. Ulmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Little empirical attention has been devoted to the link between black Protestant adherence and crime, despite significant public and political interest in the correlates of offending in black communities, as well as both historical treatments of the black church and prominent sociological theories pointing to black Protestantism as working to mitigate social problems. Using 2010 Religious Congregations and Membership Survey and county-level crime data, we examine whether black Protestantism is negatively associated with homicide, robbery, burglary, and larceny, especially in more disadvantaged black communities. We conclude by discussing the ongoing public debate surrounding the future of the black Protestant church, and we suggest directions for future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)295-314
Number of pages20
JournalSociological Quarterly
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 3 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science


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