Viewing Mount Laurel from Mount Zion: Theological Reflections on Social Integration

Kevin J. Brown, Eric Stoddart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Racial segregation continues to be a staple of US social arrangements. However, the absence of a normative dimension to this phenomenon has allowed the value of segregation, or its conceptual opposite, integration—to be determined by market forces. The result is that segregation is understood as an economic problem whose adverse effects can be ameliorated through efforts to integrate. We identify two primary problems with this approach. First, this conception risks bracketing out moral considerations related to exclusion. Second, under this paradigm, the rightness of integration is related to its consequence. In contrast, we argue for an inherent value to residential integration in itself and that a theological conception of relational autonomy can contribute to a more rich, morally engaged and motivating understanding of integration.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)176-200
JournalInternational Journal of Public Theology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2014


  • Segregation
  • Integration
  • Public Theology
  • Relational autonomy


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