Democratic Religion: Freedom, Authority, and Church Discipline in the Baptist South, 1785-1900

Democratic Religion: Freedom, Authority, and Church Discipline in the Baptist South, 1785-1900

by Gregory A. Wills
     
 

ISBN-10: 0195160991

ISBN-13: 9780195160994

Pub. Date: 03/28/2003

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

Democracy has not always fostered anti-authoritarian individualism. No American denomination identified itself more closely with the nation's democratic ideal than the Baptists. Most antebellum southern Baptist churches allowed women and slaves to vote on membership matters and preferred populist preachers who addressed their appeals to the common person.…  See more details below

Overview

Democracy has not always fostered anti-authoritarian individualism. No American denomination identified itself more closely with the nation's democratic ideal than the Baptists. Most antebellum southern Baptist churches allowed women and slaves to vote on membership matters and preferred populist preachers who addressed their appeals to the common person. Paradoxically, no denomination wielded religious authority as zealously as the Baptists. Between 1785 and 1860 they ritually (and democratically) excommunicated 40,000 to 50,000 church members in Georgia alone. Wills demonstrates how a denomination of freedom-loving individualists came to embrace an exclusivist spirituality - a spirituality that continues to shape Southern Baptist churches in contemporary conflicts between moderates who urge tolerance and conservatives who require belief in scriptural inerrancy. Wills' analysis advances our understanding of the interaction between democracy and religious authority, and will appeal to scholars of American religion, culture, and history, as well as to Baptist observers.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195160994
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
03/28/2003
Series:
Religion in America Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
208
Product dimensions:
9.20(w) x 5.90(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: Religious Authority and the Democratic Impulse3
1Democratic Exclusivism11
2Democracies Primitive and Pure26
3Democratic Authority37
4Democracy, Race, and Gender50
5African-American Democracies67
6Freedom, Authority, and Doctrine84
7Associations, Creeds, and Calvinism98
8Democratic Religion Transformed116
Conclusion139
Notes141
Index185

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >