Gospel of Disunion: Religion and Separatism in the Antebellum South

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Overview

Gospel of Disunion examines the ways in which religion influenced the development of a distinctive Southern culture and politics before the Civil War, translating the secessionist movement into a struggle of the highest moral significance. It explores such topics as the religious pro-slavery argument and the slaveholding ethic for Christian masters, the denominational schisms of the 1830s and 1840s that divided Southern Protestants along sectional lines, and the distinctive religious rationale for secession. This book is the first major attempt to fully explore the relationship between religion and the origins of Southern nationalism in all these manifestations.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
A major contribution to clarifying what increasingly seems like a fundamental cause of the war.

Charles Reagan Wilson, American Historical Review

Snay utilizes a broad range of primary sources to portray and analyze the religious dimension of this momentous rupture.

John B. Boles, Georgia Historical Quarterly

Gospel of Disunion brings together all the recent scholarship in a most accessible and congenial synthesis.

Bertram Wyatt-Brown, Reviews in American History

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521431224
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 10/29/1993
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 279
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Meet the Author

Mitchell Snay is associate professor of history at Denison University.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction: Religion and the search for Southern distinctiveness 1
Pt. 1 Religion and Sectional Politics
1 The abolitionist crisis of 1835: The issues defined 19
Pt. 2 Religion and Slavery
2 Slavery defended: The morality of slavery and the infidelity of abolitionism 53
3 Slavery sanctified: The slaveholding ethic and the religious mission to the slaves 78
Pt. 3 Religion and Separatism
4 Harbingers of disunion: The denominational schisms 113
5 Religious logic of secession 151
6 Religion and the formation of a Southern national ideology 181
Conclusion: Religion, the origins of Southern nationalism, and the coming of the Civil War 211
Bibliography 219
Index 261
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