By Rufus Spain, Samuel S. Hill
First released in 1967, Rufus Spain’s thorough research into Southern Baptist attitudes set the level for examine on faith within the American South. In At Ease in Zion, Spain questions the titular “ease” with society that Southern Baptists appeared to retain following the Civil struggle. His research of denominational newspapers, in addition to reviews from the Southern Baptist conference and nation conventions, paint a compelling photograph of the themes’ complacency with their social life, whilst they criticized own and leisure ethics.
whereas the South confronted major social, fiscal, and political alterations after the Civil battle, 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 influence on social norms. Rufus Spain used to be one of many first writers to actively reveal the connection among Southern faith and Southern society, and his paintings screens meticulous consciousness to the ways that we're plagued by complacency. He asserts that Southern Baptists seen the yank South as a model of God’s perfect society; any matters they needed to handle have been brought on by participants (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 study deals a daring research of the yank South and its voters in the course of some of the most tumultuous instances in its historical past whereas supplying 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
19 Baptist papers at least recognized the dilemma, although their early attempts to rationalize were little more than unreasoned assertions that God was still in His heaven and all would soon be right in the world. They continued to attribute defeat to the sins of the Southern people and to assert that the righteousness of the Southern cause, the justice of God, and the Confederate debacle could be reconciled. It hardly seems to have occurred to Southern Baptists that a forthright acknowledgment of error on their part would have solved their problem.
To what extent did Baptists shape their environment and to what extent were they shaped by their environment? Whether Baptists molded or merely reflected Southern attitudes, they were nevertheless significant. 1. Problems of Politics ~~~~=~~H E last thirty-five years of the nineteenth century were fraught with political problems. The most portentous was that of restoring national unity after the period of sectional controversy and war. Union victory on the battlefield established the supremacy of the nation over the states, but it by no means restored a united country.
2. 19. Minutes of the Louisiana Baptist Convention of IS65 made no reference whatever to the end of the war. 18 AT EASE IN ZION eracy-in some mysterious way it was God's will. The editor of the Georgia paper employed a curious sort of logic in arriving at this conclusion: When the plans of Christians succeeded, he said, it could be that God was leaving them to their folly. But when we are disappointed, it is clear that God has taken our case out of our own hands, and has substituted his judgment in the guidance of our affairs for our own.
At Ease in Zion: Social History of Southern Baptists, 1865-1900 by Rufus Spain, Samuel S. Hill