Mercadante, a professor of theology at Methodist Theological Seminary in Ohio, grew up in an Italian Catholic community in Newark, New Jersey. She is the child of a mixed marriage whose parents (her mother is Jewish and her father is Catholic) resolved the religion problem by avoiding it.
In their 2001 book Divided By Faith, Michael Emerson and Christian Smith developed a theory to explain why churches are racially exclusive enclaves despite Christians’ high ideals about being inclusive: Americans choose where and with whom to worship; race is one of the most important grounds on which the
Karl Barth’s theology grew out of the task of preaching, and he always kept that task in view. In a radio interview not long before his death, he noted, “My whole theology, you see, is fundamentally a theology for pastors.