9780195160994

Democratic Religion Freedom, Authority, and Church Discipline in the Baptist South, 1785-1900

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780195160994

  • ISBN10:

    0195160991

  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2003-03-13
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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Supplemental Materials

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Summary

No American denomination identified itself more closely with the nation's democratic ideal than the Baptists. Most antebellum southern Baptist churches allowed women and slaves to vote on membership matters and preferred populists preachers who addressed their appeals to the common person.Paradoxically no denomination could wield religious authority as zealously as the Baptists. Between 1785 and 1860 they ritually excommunicated forty to fifty thousand church members in Georgia alone. Wills demonstrates how a denomination of freedom-loving individualists came to embrace anexclusivist spirituality--a spirituality that continues to shape Southern Baptist churches in contemporary conflicts between moderates who urge tolerance and conservatives who require belief in scriptural inerrancy. Wills's analysis advances our understanding of the interaction between democracyand religious authority, and will appeal to scholars of American religion, culture, and history, as well as to Baptist observers.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Religious Authority and the Democratic Impulse 3(8)
Democratic Exclusivism
11(15)
Democracies Primitive and Pure
26(11)
Democratic Authority
37(13)
Democracy, Race, and Gender
50(17)
African-American Democracies
67(17)
Freedom, Authority, and Doctrine
84(14)
Associations, Creeds, and Calvinism
98(18)
Democratic Religion Transformed
116(23)
Conclusion 139(2)
Notes 141(44)
Index 185

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