By Rufus Spain, Samuel S. Hill
First released in 1967, Rufus Spain’s thorough research into Southern Baptist attitudes set the degree for examine on faith within the American South. In At Ease in Zion, Spain questions the titular “ease” with society that Southern Baptists looked as if it would keep following the Civil conflict. His research of denominational newspapers, in addition to reviews from the Southern Baptist conference and country conventions, paint a compelling photo of the themes’ complacency with their social lifestyles, while they criticized own and leisure ethics.
whereas the South confronted major social, financial, and political adjustments after the Civil warfare, faith remained the first ethical impact. because the Southern Baptist denomination made up an important majority of the inhabitants at the moment, its leaders and attitudes had a transparent and indisputable effect on social norms. Rufus Spain was once one of many first writers to actively show the connection among Southern faith and Southern society, and his paintings monitors meticulous cognizance to the ways that we're tormented by complacency. He asserts that Southern Baptists considered the yank South as a model of God’s perfect society; any matters they needed to handle have been attributable to members (such as those that didn't comply with societal norms) or exterior attitudes (such as these in differing religions or regions).
At Ease in Zion is a serious a part of the scholarly dialogue on faith in society. Spain’s learn bargains a daring research of the yank South and its voters in the course of probably the most tumultuous occasions in its heritage whereas offering a foundation for arguments on “social Christianity” and its ever-shifting function within the world.
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Extra info for At Ease in Zion: Social History of Southern Baptists, 1865-1900
Baptist Courier (Greenville, South Carolina), June 8, r893, p. 2. 2; June 22, r893, p. I. 66 More evidence of the persistence of sectionalism in the 1890's appeared in a review of A History of the United States by President Elisha Benjamin Andrews of Brown University. " The review was principally an argument for the supremacy of Southern statesmen. Between 1789 and 1861, Hart said, the South had furnished the vast majority of presidents, supreme court justices, and other public figures. These facts, to a candid mind, prove a remarkable ascendency of Southern public men in our Federal affairs for nigh eighty years.
51 Although the events of the Reconstruction Era resulted in the reestablishment of political unity, reunion of the country in sentiment by no means followed. Baptists of both sections probably could have contributed substantially to the restoration of sectional good will by reuniting their severed denomination, but relatively few Baptists of the South gave the matter serious consideration. 52 Baptists generally preferred to maintain their own Southern organizations. For a number of years after the war, many were reluctant even to exchange "correspondence" with Northern Baptists.
It is the millennium of rogues and swindlers. Wealth is a sign of rascality. The honest remain poor, whilst the unprincipled and vicious are clad in purple and fine linen. . " 43 Baptists boldly encouraged Democrats in their efforts to overthrow carpetbag rule in r874. The editor of the Virginia Baptist weekly admitted that his paper was not a political journal, but he declared that it would be "unpardonable" if he did not comment on Democratic successes in various Southern states. " 44 Baptists eagerly anticipated the election of r876 with the expectation of Democratic victory.
At Ease in Zion: Social History of Southern Baptists, 1865-1900 by Rufus Spain, Samuel S. Hill