Catalogue

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Catholics, slaveholders, and the dilemma of American evangelicalism, 1835-1860 /
W. Jason Wallace.
imprint
Notre Dame, Ind. : University of Notre Dame Press, c2010.
description
ix, 200 p. ; 23 cm.
ISBN
026804421X (pbk. : alk. paper), 9780268044213 (pbk. : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Notre Dame, Ind. : University of Notre Dame Press, c2010.
isbn
026804421X (pbk. : alk. paper)
9780268044213 (pbk. : alk. paper)
contents note
New England sets a pattern -- Taking aim at Europe and the Middle Ages -- Northern evangelicals define the other -- Southern evangelical dilemmas -- The hierarchy responds to political Protestantism -- Epilogue: evangelicals, the Bible, and politics.
catalogue key
7328500
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 153-187) and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
W. Jason Wallace is assistant professor of history at Samford University.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2011-07-01:
Over the past 40 years, scholars have produced a cornucopia of quality scholarship detailing the importance of religion in the antebellum era and how particular religious ideas shaped competing visions of the American Republic, creating the context for and animating the Civil War. Wallace's fine volume elucidates the challenge Catholicism brought to that discourse. Its traditional theology challenged the individualism in the hermeneutics of northern and southern Protestants. Increasing German and Irish Catholic immigration threatened the English domination of the US. In five crisp chapters, Wallace (history, Samford Univ.) outlines how Catholicism debated the hegemonic discourse of Protestant-based acquisitive capitalism, articulated a traditional accommodation to slavery as a product of human sin, and asserted its own historic and ongoing contribution to the discussion of social morality and the proper sources of the Christian life. In their attempts to explain, Catholic leaders offered a powerful critique of nationalism and religion rooted solely in the authority of individual believers under the Constitution and Scripture, an intellectual impeachment given credence by the outbreak of Civil War. Catholicism offered an alternative vision rooted in tradition, realism, and theology. Summing Up: Recommended. All levels/libraries. E. R. Crowther Adams State College
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, July 2011
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Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
Examining the sermons, books, newspaper articles and private correspondence of members of three antebellum groups - northern evangelicals, southern evangelicals and Catholics - this text argues that the divisions among them stemmed, at least in part, from disagreements over the role that religious convictions played in a free society.
Main Description
Although slaveholding southerners and Catholics in general had little in common, both groups found themselves relentlessly attacked in the northern evangelical press during the decades leading up to the Civil War. In Catholics, Slaveholders, and the Dilemma of American Evangelicalism, 1835-1860 , W. Jason Wallace skillfully examines sermons, books, newspaper articles, and private correspondence of members of three antebellum groups--northern evangelicals, southern evangelicals, and Catholics--and argues that the divisions among them stemmed, at least in part, from disagreements over the role that religious convictions played in a free society. Focusing on journals such as The Downfall of Babylon , Zion's Herald , The New York Evangelist , and The New York Observer, Wallace argues that northern evangelicals constructed a national narrative after their own image and, in the course of vigorous promotion of that narrative, attacked what they believed was the immoral authoritarianism of both the Catholic and the slaveholder. He then examines the response of both southerners and Catholics to northern evangelical attacks. As Wallace shows, leading Catholic intellectuals interpreted and defended the contributions made by the Catholic Church to American principles such as religious liberty and the separation of church and state. Proslavery southern evangelicals, while sharing with evangelicals in the North the belief that the United States was founded on Protestant values, rejected the attempts by northern evangelicals to associate Christianity with social egalitarianism and argued that northern evangelicals compromised both the Bible and Protestantism to fit their ideal of a good society. The American evangelical dilemma arose from conflicting opinions over what it meant to be an American and a Christian. "Despite their obvious differences, antebellum American Catholics and pro-slavery Southern evangelicals had one feature in common: their powerful aversion to Northern evangelicals' transformation of the Christian faith into a crusading gospel of 'progress.' By exploring their respective critiques of Northern evangelical theology, with its overconfidence in individual and social perfectibility and its tendency to identify Christianity with American nationalism, W. Jason Wallace provides us with keen insight into American evangelicalism's characteristic dilemmas, many of which still bedevil it today." -- Wilfred M. McClay, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga "Jason Wallace makes a clear argument of why Northern evangelical Protestants were consistent in opposing both slavery and Catholicism. Although the general relationship between abolitionists and nativists has been well known, Wallace not only proves the connection but also shows the theological basis for that connection. This book will be of interest to the academic specialist and to a wider audience interested in American religious history." -- Gerald Fogarty, S.J., University of Virginia "For those who like their history complicated, Jason Wallace's book should be at the top of their reading list. In this book Wallace takes the familiar dispute between abolitionist and pro-slavery evangelical Protestants and throws in Roman Catholicism, not only as an intriguing voice in the debates about slavery but also as a related subject of debate, with Roman Catholicism representing to evangelicals another form of slavery. The result is an episode that opens the question of slavery to the larger political and economic context of European and American debates about freedom and tyranny after the eighteenth century revolutions. Wallace argues convincingly that these disputes produced no winners, and suggests just as plausibly that the reputed winners--the northern evangelicals--lost as much as they won." -- D. G. Hart, Westminster Seminary California
Unpaid Annotation
W. Jason Wallace examines sermons, books, newspaper articles, and private correspondence of members of three antebellum groups--northern evangelicals, southern evangelicals, and Catholics--and argues that the divisions among them stemmed, at least in part, from disagreements over the role that religious convictions played in a free society. --from publisher descriptioin
Table of Contents
Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introductionp. 1
New England Sets a Patternp. 7
Taking Aim at Europe and the Middle Agesp. 39
Northern Evangelicals Define the Otherp. 71
Southern Evangelical Dilemmasp. 89
The Hierarchy Responds to Political Protestantismp. 113
Epilogue: Evangelicals, the Bible, and Politicsp. 147
Notesp. 153
Indexp. 189
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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