The roots of Appalachian Christianity : the life and legacy of elder Shubal Stearns /
John Sparks.
Lexington, KY : University Press of Kentucky, c2001.
xx, 327 p. : ill., maps.
0813122236 (alk. paper)
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Lexington, KY : University Press of Kentucky, c2001.
0813122236 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references and index.
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Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 2001-11-12:
In Appalachian Mountain Religion: A History, Deborah Vansau McCauley described the history of Appalachian Christianity using a broad canvas, using 551 pages to give a sweeping overview of how the region "got religion." Since its publication in 1995, a trickle of studies has followed, filling in the blanks of Appalachian history and focusing on some of its major players. John Sparks's The Roots of Appalachian Christianity: The Life and Legacy of Elder Shubal Stearns argues for the importance of the 18th-century traveling preacher in establishing Appalachian Christianity as a distinctive, populist movement. The story is well-told by Sparks, who is not an academic but describes himself as an unpaid "country preacher" in Eastern Kentucky. This is a fine addition to the University Press of Kentucky series on Religion in the South. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Appeared in Choice on 2002-07-01:
Sparks (a United Baptist Church pastor) provides a careful look at Shubal Stearns and the emergence of Baptist congregations in Appalachia in the 18th century. He has probed an array of little-used primary materials to demonstrate that the character of the variety of Baptist denominations that still flourish in Appalachia reflects the style intentionally planted by Stearns, his brother-in-law Daniel Marshall, and other immigrants from New England before American independence. For example, Sparks traces to Stearns the distinctive intonation and rhythmic patterns of Appalachian Baptist preaching, linking them to the cadence of the New England Holy Tone and ultimately to Welsh preaching. Sparks also tracks the rite of foot washing to these early Baptist settlers. Although historians acknowledge Stearns's role in planting the Baptist message in the South, particularly in upcountry areas of the Carolinas, this study forges new ground in connecting later Appalachian Baptist denominations directly to Stearns rather than to a gradual process influenced primarily by the isolation of mountain culture. Engagingly written for students, specialists, and general readers, this book deserves a place in Appalachian studies, American religion, southern culture, and Baptist history collections. C. H. Lippy University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
This item was reviewed in:
Publishers Weekly, November 2001
Choice, July 2002
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Table of Contents
List of Figures and Mapsp. x
Forewordp. xi
Introductionp. xv
The Covenant Owners: 1706-1740p. 1
Rude Awakening: 1740-1751p. 15
The "Garding in Closed": 1751-1754p. 34
Chance and Providence: 1754-1755p. 48
Chamomile: 1755-1765p. 72
Meshech: 1765-1771p. 109
Requiem: 1772-1801p. 181
The Legacy of the Goodly Fere: 1801-2001p. 199
Afterword: I, The Preacherp. 291
Notesp. 295
Selected Bibliographyp. 307
Indexp. 313
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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