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Soul Mates Religion, Sex, Love, and Marriage among African Americans and Latinos

ISBN: 9780195394221 | 0195394224
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Pub. Date: 12/3/2015

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In 1994, David Hernandez, a small-time drug-dealer in Spanish Harlem, got out of the drug game and turned his life over to the church. After he joined Victory Chapel--a vibrant Bronx-based Pentecostal church--he saw his life change in many ways: today he is a member of the NYPD, married, the father of three, and still an active member of his church. David Hernandez is just one of the many individuals whose stories inform Soul Mates, which draws on both broad national surveys and in-depth interviews to paint a detailed portrait of the largely positive influence exercised by churches on relationships and marriage among African Americans and Latinos.

Soul Mates shines a much-needed spotlight on the lives of strong and happy minority couples. They find that both married and unmarried minority couples who attend church together are much more likely to enjoy happy relationships than similar couples who do not regularly attend. Churches serving these communities, the authors argue, promote a code of decency, encompassing hard work, temperance, and personal responsibility, that benefits black and Latino families.

Drawing on a wide range of sources, Wilcox and Wolfinger provide a provocative look at American lived religion today. The book offers a wealth of critical insight into the effect of religion on minority relationships, as well as the unique economic and cultural challenges facing African American and Latino families in twenty-first-century America.


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