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“In the Sweet by and by”: Living in the Space Between as an Insider/Outsider of Evangelical Christianity

Della Winters (California State University, USA)

Planetary Sociology

ISBN: 978-1-80043-509-4, eISBN: 978-1-80043-508-7

Publication date: 5 May 2023


An understanding of the deep, intertwined roots of faith, family, nationalism, and capitalism within the United States is essential as we stand at the precipice of unprecedented global crises – climate change, economic inequality, and violence. Being raised in a devout, Evangelical Christian household provided unique insight into the political and cultural landscape of the Appalachian coal fields, where my extended family – who face persistent poverty, environmental pollution, and nonexistent support services – only expect relief from the crucible of life through death. Reflecting on the longstanding influence of the Protestant ethic (Weber, 2001/1930) and the consequences of widespread austerity-based policies (Piketty, 2014), I trace my experiences as being an insider/outsider within rural Appalachia and academia as a microcosm of the world that lies ahead, where global crises come home and local crises become planetary. Strategies to address impending global challenges demand analysis and action which extends beyond nations and national interests toward a planetary-level analysis. Specifically, planetary sociology brings a sociological analysis of the nuance and complexity of the “political, economic, organizational, and social” worlds into analysis with the, often ignored, natural worlds (Dahms, 2017). Thus, reflecting on the interconnected and interdependent levels of analysis – personal, familial, communal, national, and global – through the power of personal narratives serve as a beginning of planetary solutions.



Winters, D. (2023), "“In the Sweet by and by”: Living in the Space Between as an Insider/Outsider of Evangelical Christianity", Dahms, H.F. (Ed.) Planetary Sociology (Current Perspectives in Social Theory, Vol. 40), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 173-184.



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