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Brilliant Look at Civil Religion in the South
on May 17, 2000
Charles Reagan Wilson's work brilliantly describes the civil religion (as described by Geertz) of the "Lost Cause" that was pervasive in the Reconstruction and Early Modern South.
Wilson argues that this civil religion was a combination of Christian and Confederate symbols. According to Wilson this civil religion was formed out of Confederate ministers attempts to reconcile defeat in the war with the Will of God and (as the ministers believed) Confederate righteousness.
Significant in this study is Wilson's look at the role that White Supremacy played in this civil religion. He looks extensively at the role of racism as embodied in groups such as the KKK.
All in all, the work is a brilliant look at ideas pervasive in the reconstruction and early modern south, ideas which have been influential in formation of the modern New South.