Academic journal article Anglican and Episcopal History

Freedom's Coming: Religious Culture and the Shaping of the South from the Civil War through the Civil Rights Era

Academic journal article Anglican and Episcopal History

Freedom's Coming: Religious Culture and the Shaping of the South from the Civil War through the Civil Rights Era

Article excerpt

Freedom's Coming: Religious Culture and the Shaping of the South From the Civil War Through the Civil Rights Era. By Paul Harvey. (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2005, first paperback edition, 2006, Pp. xvi, 279. $21.95, paper.)

This rich, complex book is a welcome resource for historians of religious culture, black-white race relations, social change, and politics in the Unites States South from 1945 to the present. Harvey draws on the best scholarship about these subjects, fusing it with his own careful, original research, and inteiweaves throughout his study provocative analyses and speculations about the ways in which these forces transformed the role and understanding of race in the religious culture of the South during the second half of the twentieth century, and the ways in which these changes in religious culture inform the region's dynamic religious, racial, and political agenda at present.

The author's agenda is to trace "how the theologically grounded Christian racism . . . pervasive among white southerners eventually faltered, giving way to the more inclusive visions espoused in the black freedom struggles." It is Harvey's judgment that "racial interchange in cultural expressions" combined with "the constant struggle of black and white prophets who formed a southern evangelical counterculture of Christian interracialism" to tear down the "oppressive hierarchies of the Jim Crow South" (2). The result is a book that presents a convincing history of the synergy between religion, culture, and race that produced this shift.

One of Harvey's distinctive contributions is his running discussion of those white Christians who played positive and negative roles in hastening the day when the unholy alliance between theologically grounded Christian racism and white supremacy were sundered. Of special interest to some readers of this journal will be Episcopalian participants for good and ill in this historical dynamic. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.