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

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 original transference of traditional African religions to the New World through the ...
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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 original 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.

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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

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807823750
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/1998
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Lexile: 1730L (what's this?)

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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Table of Contents

Contents
Acknowledgments
Introduction
Chapter One. Africa: The Introduction of Christianity
Chapter Two. The Americas: The Survival of African Religions
Chapter Three. The Anglicans: Early Attempts at Conversion
Chapter Four. The First Awakening: Patterns of Founding
Chapter Five. The Great Revival: Patterns of Worship and the Formation of Cultural Identity
Chapter Six. Religious Transformation: Growth and Separation
Chapter Seven. The Religious Community: Religious Values and Family Needs
Afterword
Notes
Selected Bibliography

Maps
Map 1. West and West Central Africa in the Eighteenth Century
Map 2. The Caribbean
Map 3. Major Centers of Black Baptist Churches, 1800
Map 4. Major Centers of Black Baptist Churches, 1830

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