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Come Shouting to Zion: African American Protestantism in the American South and British Caribbean to 1830
     

Come Shouting to Zion: African American Protestantism in the American South and British Caribbean to 1830

by Sylvia R. Frey, Betty Wood
 

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The conversion of African-born slaves and their descendants to Protestant Christianity marked one of the most important social and intellectual transformations in American history. Come Shouting to Zion is the first comprehensive exploration of the processes by which this remarkable transition occurred. Using an extraordinary array of archival sources,

Overview

The conversion of African-born slaves and their descendants to Protestant Christianity marked one of the most important social and intellectual transformations in American history. Come Shouting to Zion is the first comprehensive exploration of the processes by which this remarkable transition occurred. Using an extraordinary array of archival sources, Sylvia Frey and Betty Wood chart the course of religious conversion from the transference of traditional African religions to the New World through the growth of Protestant Christianity in the American South and British Caribbean up to 1830.

Come Shouting to Zion depicts religious transformation as a complex reciprocal movement involving black and white Christians. It highlights the role of African American preachers in the conversion process and demonstrates the extent to which African American women were responsible for developing distinctive ritual patterns of worship and divergent moral values within the black spiritual community. Finally, the book sheds light on the ways in which, by serving as a channel for the assimilation of Western culture into the slave quarters, Protestant Christianity helped transform Africans into African Americans.

Editorial Reviews

Ira Berlin
[By] the general emancipation, Christianity had become a centerpole of black life in the British Caribbean and the American South. [This book] explains this great passage, and...provides insight into one of the great transitions in the history of the Americas. It is a work of originality, power, and significance. -- Ira Berlin
From the Publisher
[Tells of] the mass conversion of African-Americans to Protestantism in the eighteenth century with admirable clarity and humanity.

Times Literary Supplement

A well-researched and valuable book [that] should help to change the scholarly conversation about early African-American religion.

William & Mary Quarterly

[The authors have a] passionate commitment to presenting the enslaved as historical actors in their own right.

Journal of Southern History

Imaginatively conceived and exhaustively researched.

Journal of American History

Frey and Wood have done a wonderful service to scholars of American religious history.

Virginia Quarterly Review

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780807823750
Publisher:
The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date:
03/28/1998
Edition description:
1
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)
Lexile:
1730L (what's this?)

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
The best and most fully informed survey of the rise of black religion in the American south and the West Indies.—Journal of the American Academy of Religion

Contributes to our understanding of how human survival relies upon the resilient and malleable nature of culture and how oppressed people confront the complex juxtaposition of racial submission and racial equality in the conversion process.—North Carolina Historical Review

[Tells of] the mass conversion of African-Americans to Protestantism in the eighteenth century. . . . with admirable clarity and humanity.—-Times Literary Supplement

Provides a lively, masterful account of this decisive American experience.—Maryland Historical Magazine

Imaginatively conceived and exhaustively researched, Come Shouting to Zion is an important new contribution to African American religious history.—Journal of American History

The richness of the source material on which Frey and Wood draw makes this a particularly enjoyable book to read.—Journal of Interdisciplinary History

Remarkable and significant. . . . Highly recommended.—Choice

A remarkable achievement. Through their clearly written, yet marvelously nuanced argument, Frey and Wood convey the dialectical process by which slave societies gave birth to a new religion.—Georgia Historical Quarterly

A useful synthesis of both recent and older work on the interactions between people of African descent and Christianity.—Religious Studies Review

A well-researched and valuable book. . . . [that] should help to change the scholarly conversation about early African-American religion.—William & Mary Quarterly

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Meet the Author

Sylvia R. Frey is professor of history at Tulane University.

Betty Wood is lecturer in history at Girton College, Cambridge University.

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