Avenues of Faith: Shaping the Urban Religious Culture of Richmond, Virginia, 1900-1929

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Avenues of Faith documents how religion flourished in southern cities after the turn of the century and how a cadre of clergy and laity created a notably progressive religious culture in Richmond, the bastion of the Old South. Famous as the former capital of the Confederacy, Richmond emerges as a dynamic and growing industrial city invigorated by the social activism of its Protestants.

By examining six mainline white denominations-Episcopalians, Methodists, Presbyterians, ...

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Overview

Avenues of Faith documents how religion flourished in southern cities after the turn of the century and how a cadre of clergy and laity created a notably progressive religious culture in Richmond, the bastion of the Old South. Famous as the former capital of the Confederacy, Richmond emerges as a dynamic and growing industrial city invigorated by the social activism of its Protestants.

By examining six mainline white denominations-Episcopalians, Methodists, Presbyterians, Baptists, Disciples of Christ, and Lutherans-Samuel C. Shepherd Jr. emphasizes the extent to which the city fostered religious diversity, even as "blind spots" remained in regard to Catholics, African Americans, Mormons, and Jews. Shepherd explores such topics as evangelism, interdenominational cooperation, the temperance campaign, the Sunday school movement, the international peace initiatives, and the expanding role of lay people of both sexes. He also notes the community's widespread rejection of fundamentalism, a religious phenomenon almost automatically associated with the South, and shows how it nurtured social reform to combat a host of urban problems associated with public health, education, housing, women's suffrage, prohibition, children, and prisons.

In lucid prose and with excellent use of primary sources, Shepherd delivers a fresh portrait of Richmond Protestants who embraced change and transformed their community, making it an active, progressive religious center of the New South.


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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A first-rate book…thoughtfully conceptualized and rationally organized…offering rich insight into the religious culture of the South."
—Willard B. Gatewood, author of "Aristocrats of Color."

"An altogehter new perspective on religion in the American South. No other scholarly work uses an urban community context to explore in depth the parameters of religious life in the South."
—Charles Reagan Wilson, author of Judgement and Grace in Dixie and Director of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780817310769
  • Publisher: University of Alabama Press
  • Publication date: 5/28/2001
  • Series: Religion & American Culture Series
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 520
  • Product dimensions: 6.13 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Samuel C. Shepherd Jr. is professor of history at Centenary College in Shreveport, Louisiana.

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Table of Contents

Preface
1 The Urban Challenge 1
2 Restless Richmond 15
3 City Sounds and Joyful Noises 38
4 Mighty Engines of Evangelism 59
5 Paths of Grace 84
6 Disarming Dangers 104
7 "A New Pentecost" 137
8 A "Divine Discontent" 168
9 Not Brothers or Sisters 202
10 "A World Made New" 231
11 The Wrong Place for a Row 253
12 Avenues of Faith 282
Notes 301
Selected Bibliography 377
Index 401
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