No Jim Crow Church: The Origins of South Carolina's Bahá'í Community

No Jim Crow Church: The Origins of South Carolina's Bahá'í Community

by Louis Venters

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Overview


“A richly detailed study of the rise of the Bahá’í Faith in South Carolina. There isn’t another study out there even remotely like this one.”—Paul Harvey, coauthor of The Color of Christ: The Son of God and the Saga of Race in American History
 
In No Jim Crow Church, Louis Venters recounts the unlikely emergence of a cohesive interracial fellowship in South Carolina, tracing the history of the community from the end of the nineteenth century through the civil rights era. By joining the Bahá’í Faith, blacks and whites not only defied Jim Crow but also rejected their society’s religious and social restrictions.
           
The religion, which emphasizes the spiritual unity of all humankind, arrived in the United States from the Middle East via northern urban areas. As early as 1910, Bahá’í teachers began settling in South Carolina, where the Bahá’í Faith is currently the largest religious minority. Venters presents an organizational, social, and intellectual history of South Carolina’s early Bahá’í movement and relates developments within the community to changes in society at large, with particular attention to race relations and the civil rights struggle. He argues that the state’s Bahá’ís represent a significant, sustained, spiritually based challenge to the ideology and structures of white male Protestant supremacy. His research provides a fascinating study of an unlikely movement’s rise to prominence and the role of the South Carolina Bahá’í community in the cultural and structural evolution of a new world religion.
 

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780813061078
Publisher: University Press of Florida
Publication date: 10/06/2015
Series: Other Southerners
Pages: 344
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author


Louis Venters is associate professor of history at Francis Marion University. 

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