“They Wore Traveling Shoes” analyzes collaborations among scholars, ordained ministers, and lay activists who conceived the theological infrastructure of and developed tactical principles for the period in the Black Freedom Movement that would become known as Civil Rights. This study uncovers how internationalism shaped these thinkers’ perspectives and prompted transformations in American Christianity and American democracy.
The project will offer a fresh perspective on and make important contributions to scholarship on civil rights, black internationalism, and American religious history. It reexamines the Civil Rights Movement as, in part, a product of interreligious encounter. By showing how international alliances negotiated religious divides, it will expand accounts of black internationalism. The project will contribute to American religious history by identifying a heretofore overlooked American school of thought that had far-reaching effects on American religion and democracy.