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From the Publisher"Evangelizing the South is thoughtfully researched, carefully and convincingly argued, and engagingly written. Through close study of dozens of congregational and associational records and almost four thousand disciplinary cases, Monica Najar demonstrates that the Baptist "transformation" of the South was well under way by 1815. Equally important, it clarifies the process whereby the South's "transformation" of the Baptists left few congregations willing to challenge the morality of slave-owning. This is an accomplished piece of scholarship that will inform and enlighten scholars in religious and church-state history, gender history, and the history of the Revolutionary and Early Republic eras." —Anne M. Boylan, Professor of History at the University of Delaware, author of The Origins of Women's Activism
"In this thoughtful and impressively researched book, Monica Najar relates the evolution and expansion of Baptist congregations to the larger themes of westward migration, economic development, and American political identity. Gender and race assume center stage in Najar's important and nuanced portrait of a religious community committed to the equality of souls and church supremacy over secular authority—until a divided denomination ceded power to the state over the seemingly irresolvable issue of slavery." —Cynthia A. Kierner, author of Scandal at Bizarre: Rumor and Reputation in Jefferson's America
"Monica Najar's Evangelizing the South provides a persuasive account of how gender and religion intersected in the early southern Baptist movement. Her book carries the story of evangelical Southern culture into the post-revolutionary period, and her treatment of evangelical religion in this era is the most successful I have seen. Unlike other accounts, Najar effectively explains how this religious movement came to dominate and suffuse southern culture. She shows how Baptists worked to separate the church from the state but also to bring the functions of the state into the church. Her insight illuminates a source of the under-development of Southern state infrastructure at the same time that it helps us to understand the origins of a distinctive southern religious style. This is a great book, essential reading for those interested in religion, gender or the south." —Carla Pestana, author of The English Atlantic in an Age of Revolution, 1640-1661
"The author's decision to examine four states of teh upper South gives the book uncommon reach and highlights the distinctiveness of the West. The discussion of Baptists and gender marks an important revision in the field. This book also raises some compelling questions that do not have ready answers. ...[T]his book will inspire a next generation of scholarship along these lines."
—Journal of Southern History