By Rufus Spain, Samuel S. Hill
First released in 1967, Rufus Spain’s thorough research into Southern Baptist attitudes set the level for learn on faith within the American South. In At Ease in Zion, Spain questions the titular “ease” with society that Southern Baptists appeared to retain following the Civil warfare. His research of denominational newspapers, in addition to reviews from the Southern Baptist conference and kingdom conventions, paint a compelling photo of the themes’ complacency with their social lifestyles, while they criticized own and leisure ethics.
whereas the South confronted major social, fiscal, and political alterations after the Civil struggle, faith remained the first ethical impression. because the Southern Baptist denomination made up an important majority of the inhabitants at the moment, its leaders and attitudes had a transparent and indisputable impression on social norms. Rufus Spain used to be one of many first writers to actively show the connection among Southern faith and Southern society, and his paintings screens meticulous consciousness to the ways that we're stricken by complacency. He asserts that Southern Baptists considered the yankee South as a model of God’s perfect society; any matters they wanted to handle have been attributable to contributors (such as those that didn't agree to societal norms) or exterior attitudes (such as these in differing religions or regions).
At Ease in Zion is a serious a part of the scholarly dialogue on faith in society. Spain’s learn bargains a daring research of the yank South and its electorate in the course of essentially the most tumultuous occasions in its heritage whereas offering a foundation for arguments on “social Christianity” and its ever-shifting function within the world.
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Additional info for At Ease in Zion: Social History of Southern Baptists, 1865-1900
5 Members of the faculty and student body at the nascent Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Greenville, South Carolina, debated the question of secession for several weeks, but as the states began seceding most of the students followed the lead of their native states into the Confederacy. Finally, when Virginia voted to secede, the seminary suspended classes and the remaining students left without completing their final examinations. 6 The climax of the secessionist movement among Southern Baptists came at the meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention in Savannah, Georgia, May IO-r3, r861.
Baptists throughout the South lauded their fallen hero. " 63 Another paper recounted that Davis had been ill beyond recovery for many days before his death. "However," commented the editor, loyal Southern hearts hoped that the grand old man would be spared them yet a little longer, that they might honor him more and give attestation of their feelings to the hero of the Lost Cause. [History would place his name where it] rightly belongs-among the greatest men this country has yet produced .... He went to perform his duty, as did thousands of others, and the cause he espoused shall never be called the traitor's cause.
No evil was abolished by emancipation. Southern whites, therefore, still had the same obligation to the freedmen. If they permitted the Negroes to degenerate, God would punish the white race again. 23 As with slavery, so with secession. Baptists had no confessions of guilt. They defended the states' -rights arguments on which the doctrine of secession rested. In resorting to secession Southerners had merely followed a political philosophy which differed from that held by Northerners. The Constitution provided for the possibility of a divided loyalty between federal and state governments.
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