The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin

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What is the signifigance of Christianity in The Fire Next Time?

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The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin consists of two separate essays: "My Dungeon Shook — Letter to my Nephew on the One Hundredth Anniversary of Emancipation," and "Down At The Cross — Letter from a Region of My Mind." The second essay in particular focuses on Baldwin's involvement in the Christian church as a child and young man. As he notes,

Because I was raised in a Christian culture I never considered myself to be a totally free human being.

After a childhood spent in the Christian church, Baldwin reveals that he became a minister while still in his teens, a decision that was motivated at least in part by his desire to stay out of trouble and off the streets. Baldwin later became disenchanted by Christianity, or rather by the hypocritical manner in which his fellow Christians had behaved. Even when he no longer believed in Christianity as a religion, Baldwin still believed that the same Christian ideals that honor basic human dignity should be present in our everyday interactions...

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