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Invoking the strong ties they sense between the courses of their lives and their careers, the sixteen historians of religion who have contributed to Autobiographical Reflections on Southern Religious History share their thoughts and motivations. In these highly personal essays, both pioneering and promising young scholars discuss their work and interests as they recall how the circumstances of their upbringing and education steered them toward religious history. They tell of their own time and place and of their growing awareness of how religion ties into larger social issues: gender, class, and, most notably, race. Indeed, one essay begins, "I was asked to write about why I came to study religion in the South. It was then I realized that it was because my grandfather had been lynched."

Lutheran, Jewish, Catholic, Methodist, and Episcopal viewpoints are represented as, of course, are Baptist. Some contributors have stood in the pulpit; others at least commenced their higher education with that aim. While some contributors were born and reared, and now work in the Bible Belt, others are outsiders—physically, philosophically, or both. Some came from intellectual traditions; others were the first in their family to attend college.

Despite their common interest in its history, southern religion is anything but an intellectual abstraction for the contributors to this book. It is a potent force, and here sixteen men and women offer themselves as proof of its power to shape lives.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780820322971
Publisher: University of Georgia Press
Publication date: 08/01/2001
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

JOHN B. BOLES is William Pettus Hobby Professor of History at Rice University and managing editor of the Journal of Southern History. His books include The South through Time and Autobiographical Reflections on Southern Religious History (Georgia).

Table of Contents

Southern Religion and the Southern Religious / by Samuel S. Hill
Crucifixion—Faith in the Christian South / by Donald G. Mathews
Recovering the Underside of Southern Religion / by David Edwin Harrell Jr.
Cusp of Spring / by Robert M. Calhoon
A Pilgrim's Progress through Southern Christianity / by Wayne Flynt
Growing Up a Historian / by Frederick A. Bode
Coming of Age in the Bible Belt / by John B. Boles
The Gentlemen Theologians Revisited / by E. Brooks Holifield
Among the Baptists: Reflections of an East Tennessee Episcopalian / by John Shelton Reed
I Just Can't Get Out of Virginia: A Personal Journey into Southern Religious History / by Thomas A. Buckley, S.J.
Personal Reflections on Community and the Writing of American Religious History / by Jean E. Friedman
A Fire in the Bones / by Albert J. Raboteau
A Journey to Southern Religious Studies / by Charles Reagan Wilson
Greek, Southern, and Baptist: A Southerner's Experience of Race, Religion, and Ethnicity / by Andrew M. Manis
Gospel of Disunion: A Spiritual Autobiography / by Mitchell Snay
Southern Fried Grace / by Lynn Lyerly

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