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"A major study of American cultural history, a book distinguished both for its careful research and for its innovative interpretations. . . . Professor Mathews's book is an explanation of what religion meant in the everyday lives of southern whites and blacks. It is indispensable reading not just for those who want to know more about the Old South but for anyone who wants to understand the South today."—David Herbert Donald, Harvard University
"A major achievement—a magnificently provocative contribution to the understanding of the history of religion in America."—William G. McLoughlin, Book Reviews
"A meticulous and well-documented study . . . In the changing connotations of the word 'liberty' lie most of the dilemmas of Southern (and American) history, dilemmas Dr. Mathews analyses with considerable penetration."—Times Literary Supplement
"The most compact and yet comprehensive view of the Old South in its religious dimension that is presently available. This is a pioneering work by one who is widely read in the sources and is creative enough to synthesize and introduce fresh themes. . . . He makes a unique contribution to southern historiography which will act as a corrective upon earlier works. . . . Boldly stated, every library that consults Choice should purchase this volume."—Choice
"Mathews presents us with the findest and grandest history of old southern religion that one could imagine finding in so short a book on so large a topic. . . . Here stands in its own right a masterpiece of regional historiography of religion in America."—William A. Clebsch, Reviews in American History
Foreword by Martin E. Marty
1. "Disallowed Indeed of Men, but Chosen of God, and Precious"
2. "To Set in Order the Things that are Wanting"
3. "An Enlightened and Refined People"
4. "We Who Own Slaves Honor God's Law"
5. "The Trumpet Sounds within-a My Soul"
6. "To Proclaim Liberty to the Captives"
Note on Sources