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Southern Cross: The Beginnings of the Bible Belt Paperback – April 27, 1998
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Heyrman's book traces the evolution of Southern Evangelism from fringe movement to possessor of the Southern soul. In the span of a century, Evangelicalism began adopting Southern values, and a sect that had earlier preached against slavery and violence began defending both slaveholding and succession from the Union and the use of force in these ends, if necessary. The story of Christianity in the South is a fascinating one, and Southern Cross tells it well. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Heyrman believes that a number of factors accounted for the slow growth of evangelicalism in the 18th century South, among them an unwillingness among the lower classes to upset the gentry by adopting preachers who publicly spoke out against slavery, fear of upsetting the social hierarchy, and a cultural unwillingness to accept such a deeply personal and introspective conversion process. Many potential converts were unwilling to submit to such a demanding moralism, or feared being overcome by the despondency that struck some converts. The evangelicals�use of young and tactless itinerant preachers in a culture that placed value upon maturity and deference also contributed to their unpopularity.Read more ›
The not so good: Well after what seemed like a great start, the book basically digresses into a critique of gender roles, use of military and manly imagery by the clergy to "market" their religion to white males and (to a lesser degree) compromise on opposition to slavery.
Fair enough. But aside from a very few interesting anecdotes, this book trails off and meanders in a detached and eventually condescending tone which to me is . . . well . . boring.
Finally in the epilogue the author essentially confides that southern evangelicals would not even merit serious study if it weren't for the growing political influence they possess today.
So why should I (um, ok - - I'm a B B B Baptist . . . ) be annoyed by this book? Well its kind like music reviews to me. If you don't even like the music in the first place, why are you writing a review? Or if you don't like Soul music - - just don't even bother writing about Al Green.
The trouble with a "secular humanist" writing a critique of religion to me is not that they can't (as in this book) do a good job of talking about the religion (or 'Song of Canaan" as called here) . . . its that they don't like the music . . . and can't seem to fathom why we sing.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very useful book. The author has a wonderful way with words.Published 3 months ago by Marjory Otoole
If I could give this book 0 I would. I ended up having to read this book for a review and it was awful! I absolutely LOVE to read, I read at least one book a week. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Melanie Doyle
She appears to have an axe to grind. Sounds like a feminist who resents the fact that God is not a feminist. Read morePublished on July 1, 2014 by N. Brooks
Great book! In good condition! I got this for class and it was better than I expected. Will buy more.Published on June 29, 2014 by Omid Ghoreyan
I really enjoyed this work. If you want to get the background of the Bible Belt in America this is a good resource.Published on April 8, 2014 by Todd
An absorbing and well-written work, Heyrman shows how evangelicalism replaced Anglicanism as the dominant religion in the South while also pointing out that southern evangelicalism... Read morePublished on February 9, 2013 by Thomas W. Robinson
I was really hoping for more emphasis on the radical religions during that time period. I actually had a difficult time reading and staying focused on the material.... Read morePublished on August 19, 2010 by Trina M. Allen
A facinating tour of religion in early America. Particularly interesting for the light it brings to various conservative religous groups and cults in todays news.Published on May 8, 2007 by Charles Hillier