Redeeming America: Evangelicals and the Road to Civil War Curtis D. Johnson

ISBN: 9781566630320

Published: August 1st 1993

Paperback

224 pages


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Redeeming America: Evangelicals and the Road to Civil War  by  Curtis D. Johnson

Redeeming America: Evangelicals and the Road to Civil War by Curtis D. Johnson
August 1st 1993 | Paperback | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, audiobook, mp3, RTF | 224 pages | ISBN: 9781566630320 | 9.67 Mb

In the decades before the Civil War, evangelical Protestants struggled for the mind and soul of America, seeking to rescue the nation from Catholics and unbelievers. In this lucid and discerning account of a major force in the nations history,MoreIn the decades before the Civil War, evangelical Protestants struggled for the mind and soul of America, seeking to rescue the nation from Catholics and unbelievers. In this lucid and discerning account of a major force in the nations history, Curtis D. Johnson explains why these battles had immediate as well as far-reaching consequences for American life and culture.

While saving souls, evangelicals also wrestled with one another over the meaning, practice, and social implications of their common faith. Prosperous evangelicals from the more prestigious denominations often tried to impose their understanding on the social and political order - and order, along with decorum, was what they craved. Common whites resented upper-class power and elite meddling in their religious and secular lives- they preferred less formal and more spontaneous experiences. Black Americans, meanwhile, forged a liberating faith that gave them a measure of autonomy within the suffocating confines of slavery.

Beyond these internal conflicts, evangelical forces in the larger culture influenced politics, law, literacy, social custom, and social organization in ways that are still with us. Mr. Johnson shows how the evangelical emphasis on Bible reading encouraged literacy, created support for public education, and led to the formation of dozens of American colleges.

A flood of religious literature spawned innovative printing and bureaucratic techniques later adopted by secular presses and organizations. Devotionalism promoted sentimentality among the American middle classes, and perfectionism had its secular parallels in diet reform, the water cure, and phrenology. Evangelical disputes often spread into thepolitical arena and helped shape partisan arguments. But when large numbers of black and white evangelicals agreed that God could not bless the nation until slavery was abolished, evangelicals abandoned their slaveholding co-religionists, and America moved toward Civil War.



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