Monday, 30 January 2012

Christmas for an Eighteenth-Century Religious Historian




I imagine that February 14, 15, and 16 will be like Christmas for me. On those dates, Gerald McDermott, Thomas Kidd, and Catherine Brekus will be giving the February LeRoy Martin Lectures (respectively), with the following theme: "Religion in Early America: From the Great Awakening to the Revolution." From the perspective of an eighteenth-century religious historian, such as myself, these speakers represent the best of breed in that category. All three scholars will be talking about subjects related to new or forthcoming books. McDermott will be lecturing on a topic pertaining to his new book on Jonathan Edwards, Kidd on Patrick Henry's religion, and Brekus on Sarah Osborn.

What is especially exciting for me is that the material from these lectures relates to a current course that I am teaching this semester entitled, "Religion in the Age of Wesley, Whitefield, and Edwards." For fifty minutes on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, I have the privilege of talking to fifteen students at UTC about the revivals in America and Great Britain. As we discuss the various facets of the culture and context of the eighteenth century, I almost always mention information that comes from these authors, especially Kidd's work on the Great Awakening. Sometimes it is hard for me to believe that I am paid to teach such a class!

We are planning on videoing the lectures, and so if you would like to purchase a DVD of any of the individual lectures for $10, my contact information is here.

Jonathan Yeager

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Expressing the Ineffable


Anne Steele (1717-1778) was a leading eighteenth-century evangelical poet. Although largely forgotten today, Steele's hymns were among very popular in her day, and included in best-selling anthologies such as John Ash's and Caleb Evans's A Collection of Hymns Adapted to Public Worship (1769) as well as John Rippon's Selection of Hymns from the Best Authors, Intended as an Appendix to Dr. Watts's Psalms and Hymns (1787). Much more gloomy than Charles Wesley's hymns, and less didactic than the compositions of Isaac Watts, Steele's writings provide a sobering look at the Christian life from the perspective of an often-troubled mind.

In her book, To Express the Ineffable: The Hymns and Spirituality of Anne Steele, Cynthia Aalders argues that Steele's hymns offer "a surprising and appealing spiritual honesty, together with an acknowledgement of human loss and limitation" (2). Born into a wealthy timber merchant's family in Hampshire, England, Steele witnessed the death of several key family members, including her mother Anne Froude in 1720, her step-mother Anne Cator in 1760, and her beloved father William Steele in 1769. Throughout her life, Steele was plagued by health-related problems such as headaches and bouts with "the ague." These emotional and physical pains are evident in her poetry.

In her 1760 (republished in 1780 with an additional third volume) Poems on Subjects Chiefly Devotional, Steele shows signs of self-doubt, grief, and melancholy. Aalders writes that "her experiences of earthly suffering and her perception of the absence of God prompted her to use her hymns as a means of probing and questioning the divine-human encounter... Steele's hymns are more often introspective, characterized by doubt and uncertainty, sometimes bordering on despair" (3-4). While acknowledging that God has given her certain "powers," or literary talents, Steele doubts her abilities to reach her full potential. Her Calvinistic upbringing taught her that all mankind is tainted by sin, which affects the whole of one's efforts at being godly. Indeed, language itself is corrupted and incapable of expressing in any conceivable terms the true glory and character of God. Aaders sums it up this way: "Steele accepts her God-given vocation--the task of writing hymns and poetry about God and the religious life--but she also acknowledges her requisite failure, hindered as she is by the limitations of human language" (78). Several of Steele's hymns demonstrate the ineffability of God: "Desiring to Praise God" (I.1-2), "Imploring Divine Influence" (I.2-3), "Humble Worship" (I.37), and "The Condescension of God" (I.65).

Yes, despite the doom and gloom in Steele's poems, Aalders denies the conclusions of most scholars, who have typically judged Steele as a recluse consumed with personal loss. Aalders claims that Steele's poems exhibit signs of optimism amidst perceived despair, and that many of the supposed devastating episodes in her life are based on unsubstantiated myths. Tradition has it that Steele fell off a horse as a teen and became a lifelong invalid, and that her fiance drowned hours before the wedding. From Aalders's research, she finds no evidence that Steele was permanently incapacitated and that she was ever engaged to a man named James Elcomb. Aalders admits that many of the trials that Steele experienced influenced her writings. Evidence of her pain can be found in poems like "Wrote in an Ill State of Health in the Spring" (II.60). Nevertheless, Aalders is adamant that amidst the dark clouds, Steele looked to God as the source of her hope, and the only one who could bring sunnier days ahead. Aalders states, "Steele begins many of her hymns tentatively, conscious of the limitations of human language and the challenges of articulating praise to a God who, in his incomprehensible sovereign will, allows suffering to burden frail humanity. Yet this hesitancy does not fully represent her hymnody nor adequately encapsulate her spirituality, for Steele concludes just as many of her hymns by making faithful affirmations about God and her experience of the spiritual life" (136). Her struggles to find happiness and look to God for salvation can be seen in "God My Only Happiness" (I.142), "Desiring to Trust in God" (I.78), "Mourning the Absence of God, and Longing for His Gracious Presence" (I.143), and "The Faithfulness of God" (II.85). Steele places complete trust in God's will, assuming that the Almighty will do what is good and just.

Aalders's book is a finely written analysis of Anne Steele and her writings. Aalders reinstates Steele as a talented poet who deserves to be placed alongside the more recognized hymnists Isaac Watts, Charles Wesley, and William Cowper. The books also serves as reminder that much of the Christian life is marked by intense periods of pain and suffering. The good news, according to Aalders's study, is that one can always find hope of better times thanks to the trustworthiness of God.

Jonathan Yeager

Friday, 27 January 2012

Recent Faculty Job Ad

Carleton College

Christian Studies

Carleton College, Department of Religion, seeks qualified candidates to fill a one-year leave replacement position in Christian Studies, with a particular emphasis on gender, to begin Sept. 1, 2012. While candidates’ fields may include History of Christianity, Theology/Religious Thought, Biblical Studies, or Sociology/Anthropology of Religion, we seek those whose research or teaching competencies substantively engage gender as a category of analysis in Christian Studies.

Candidates should a) have experience in teaching, b) be skilled at relating both classical and contemporary Christian materials to their various historical and cultural settings, and c) situate their work within the broader theoretical and methodological concerns of the field of religious studies. We seek applicants who are committed to teaching a diverse student body in a religiously-unaffiliated, highly selective, liberal arts environment. While we will consider ABD candidates, it is preferred that the Ph.D. be in hand by Sept. 1, 2012. Women and members of minority groups are especially encouraged to apply. Carleton College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, marital status, veteran status, actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, status with regard to public assistance, disability, or age in providing employment or access to its educational facilities and activities. The expected teaching load for this position is five courses distributed over a three-term academic year. Benefits apply.

To apply, please complete the online application found at jobs.carleton.edu, including electronic submission of a cover letter, C.V., and 2-3 sample syllabi. Three letters of reference should be submitted electronically to mmcnally@carleton.edu, Michael McNally, Chair, Department of Religion, Carleton College, Northfield, MN. Review of applications will begin February 20, 2012.

What is Important on a Curriculum Vitae?

What is the most important parts of a cv for an academic? And what is the ranking of these parts? There are various opinions on these questions. Answers seem to depend on the type of academic job that a person is pursuing. The standard answer is that small liberal arts colleges tend to focus on teaching, as opposed to larger research-based institutions, which favor publications. Supposedly, a hiring committee at a liberal arts college fear applicants with multiple peer-reviewed journal articles and/or books since that might suggest future negligence in teaching. Another fear is that well-published scholars may leave for greener pastures after a year or so. Liberal arts college seem to want a person who is willing to stay for the long haul. It would be interesting to find statistical evidence for these generalizations.

Liberal arts colleges fascinate me. From my experience, this type of institution drools at the sight of a cv from a person with an Ivy-League PhD while at the same time hopes that their dream candidate will not publish too much for the reasons previously mentioned. In other words, it seems that many liberal arts colleges want an extremely intelligent person, who has been through the rigors of a top-notch program, but who is committed to teaching, and not necessarily publishing. I realize that this is perhaps a gross generalization, and that there are certainly going to be notable exceptions, but these comments reflect my (albeit) limited experience and observations over the past several years.

What is the significance of publishing then? I recall one notable scholar telling me that if up to him, he would hire strictly on the basis of publications alone. In the order of importance, this person ranks the monograph first, followed by the edited volume, and finally peer-reviewed journal articles. I have read pundits' postings in the Chronicle of Higher Education and elsewhere that equate four peer-reviewed journal articles with a monograph. But this judgment does not seem to be a firm rule that is followed by all scholars. Recently, a colleague told me that paper presentations at conferences rank at the same level as a book review. That is to say, neither are viewed as important entries on a cv. I found this comment intriguing. I had heard that book reviews were not weighed highly by academics, but always assumed that presentation papers would be viewed by most as respectable contributions to a cv. I wonder what the consensus is on ranking the entries on a cv.

It, of course, gets much more complicated when considering faith-based institutions. A Christian liberal arts college usually makes it clear that it does not want to hire anyone unwilling to subscribe to the school's statement of faith, regardless of a person's impressive credentials. In many cases, the successful candidate is the individual who has a connection with the college (alma mater, relative, etc.). All of these interesting dynamics make it difficult to come up with a clear picture of what the perfect cv looks like.

Jonathan Yeager

Monday, 23 January 2012

Samuel Kneeland of Boston


For last few years I have been fascinated with the history of the book. I first became aware of the significance of this subject when I read Richard Sher's masterful The Enlightenment and the Book: Scottish Authors and Their Publishers in Eighteenth-Century Britain, Ireland, and America (University of Chicago, 2007). Sher awakened me to the importance of eighteenth-century publishers and how lucrative this profession could be. I soon realized the value of Sher's book for my own research as I was finishing up my dissertation on John Erskine. After reading Enlightenment and the Book, I re-wrote my thesis, and dedicated a final chapter to establishing Erskine as the premier evangelical disseminator in the Atlantic world. While Sher's work on the history of the book as it pertains to the Enlightenment is ground-breaking, there are only sparse references to evangelicalism and publishing. I wanted to know more about this elusive topic. To my surprise, hardly anyone has written about the publishers of evangelical works in the eighteenth century. In the case of Erskine, I found that he worked with the Gray publishing firm in Edinburgh to produce most of his works as well as many of the posthumous writings of Jonathan Edwards.

After finishing the dissertation on Erskine, which has since been published as a monograph, I did research on religious printers and publishers in eighteenth-century America. Thanks to tools like the indispensable English Short Title Catalogue (ESTC), I came across Samuel Kneeland (1697-1769). Although he was a leading printer and publisher in colonial Boston, to my amazement, no one has ever written a scholarly article or book on him. Last year I conducted research on Kneeland and submitted an article to the journal Printing History. Today, I received my gratis copies of "Samuel Kneeland of Boston: Colonial Bookseller, Printer, and Publisher of Religion," which is in Series Eleven of the January 2012 issue of Printing History. The article should be available very soon on Academic One File.

This is the opening paragraph of the article:

Samuel Kneeland is one of those characters in the history of the book in America who we know played a vital role; yet, very little has been written about him. Related to the prolific Green family of printers, he forged relationships with leading colonial booksellers like Daniel Henchman, printed for the colony of Massachusetts Bay, and published several key religious texts. In the following article, the objective is to shed light on Kneeland's overall contribution to the colonial book trade, identifying those for whom he printed, at what price, and the kinds of literature that he put forward. From an anlysis of Kneeland's life and business, we can gain a further understanding of the history of the book in eighteenth-century America from the perspective of Kneeland, one of the premier bookseller-printers in Boston.

I go on to describe Kneeland's significance as a printer, bookseller, and publisher of religious works. Kneeland formed partnerships with his uncle Bartholomew Green (1667-1732) and later his cousin, Timothy Green (1703-63). The latter firm of S. Kneeland and T. Green established the New-England Weekly Journal in 1727 and claimed the rights to print (1736) and later own (1741) the Boston Gazette. After Kneeland and Green bought the rights to publish the Boston Gazette, they combined it with the New-England Weekly Journal to become the Boston Gazette, or New England Weekly Journal, perhaps the first newspaper merger in colonial America. American religious historians will recall that the Boston Gazette provided news of the revivals associated with the Great Awakening. Articles in the newspaper, for instance, alerted readers to the travelings of George Whitefield, including upcoming his speaking engagements in America. After Green left the firm to go to his hometown of New London, Kneeland sold the Boston Gazette to Benjamin Edes and John Gill, who altered the title of the paper slightly and began a new issue in April 1755.

Besides printing newspapers, Kneeland also printed and published several key religious works. He printed best-sellers like Philip Doddridge's The Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul, Solomon Stoddard's The Safety of Appearing at the Day of Judgment, Thomas Prince's A Chronological History of New-England, George Whitefield's Sermons on Various Important Subjects, and John Flavel's Token for Mourners. Perhaps most importantly, he printed many of the writings of Jonathan Edwards, including The Life of David Brainerd and Freedom of the Will.

Kneeland also was a publisher, which meant that he underwrote the costs of publications himself. Publishing was a risky venture, but it had a greater potential for profits than a set fee charged by printers. In the article, I provide an appendix that lists the known works published by Kneeland. In his early years, Kneeland published familiar authors like Cotton Mather, Thomas Foxcroft, Samuel Checkley, Richard Baxter, and Matthew Henry. As the revival fires of the Great Awakening heated up, he published George Whitefield, Jonathan Dickinson, and Thomas Prince. Most notably, Kneeland underwrote Jonathan Edwards's seminal Treatise Concerning Religious Affections (1746). By the time that Kneeland retired, he could claim over nine hundred imprints bearing his name as printer or publisher.

If you are interested in reading more about Kneeland, please contact William T. La Moy, the editor of Printing History, for a hardcopy of the article. Alternatively, when the article appears on Academic One File, you could download a copy of it.

Jonathan Yeager

Open Faculty Positions in Christian Studies and Church History

Shorter University in Rome, Georgia has an open faculty position in Christian Studies. The job ad can be seen here. The posted requirements are:

Qualifications: Candidates must have a Master’s degree with at least 18 graduate hours in Christian Studies, with a Ph.D. preferred. Candidate must have a strong desire to teach, mentor and advise undergraduates.

In addition to the required online application, applicants need to send one packet containing the following: •Cover letter •Unofficial transcripts of all academic work •A doctrinal summation of your beliefs concerning: Scripture, God; Man; Jesus; the Holy Spirit; Atonement; the Church; and End Times •A statement about your comfort level with the 2000 edition of the Baptist Faith and Message •A statement of your views on Calvinism •Three current letters of reference

Send all materials in one packet, making sure to label it with your name and the position for which you are applying to:

Human Resources Shorter University 315 Shorter Avenue Rome, Georgia 30165

Apply today at the following link: https://home.eease.adp.com/recruit/?id=1172271

Shorter University is a Christ centered University affiliated with the Georgia Baptist Convention and requires employees to be committed Christians.

Transforming Lives Through Christ

Anderson University in Indiana has a posting for a tenure-track position in Church history. Information can be seen here. The job ad requirements are:

Anderson University School of Theology announces a tenure-track position in Church History, to begin in 2012-13. Candidate is expected to teach seven courses per academic year, have excellent classroom skills and a demonstrated interest in both electronic and face-to-face educational delivery. Completed Th.D/Ph.D. and teaching experience expected. Rank and salary set according to qualifications and experience. In addition to academic qualifications, the candidate should be committed to the Christian faith, be involved in a local congregation, and possess an ability to develop courses and programs that are inclusive of the diversity of the students and constituency served. High priority given to those who are ordained and/ or experienced in congregational leadership and have a strong commitment to the Church of God, Anderson, Indiana. Women and minority candidates are strongly encouraged to apply. The mission of the Anderson University School of Theology is to form women and men for the ministry of biblical reconciliation. Review of applications will begin immediately and applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Send curriculum vitae, and three letters of reference to Dean David Sebastian, Anderson University School of Theology, 1100 East Fifth Street, Anderson, Indiana 46012-3495.

Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson continues to be recognized as a top Christian college: in 2010, U.S. News and World Report ranked Anderson University among the best colleges and universities in the Midwest for the seventh consecutive year. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing, and theology. The University’s location in the central part of the state allows easy access to state parks, several boating lakes, and beautiful farmland. The close proximity to Indianapolis, the state’s capital, offers a full range of cultural and entertainment amenities. Anderson University is an equal opportunity employer.

Are Lectures Boring?


A question I continue to ask myself is whether or not to lecture in a given course. I have taught a variety of courses at a number of schools since 2008 (ah, the life of an adjunct), but I have not yet come to a firm conclusion on lecturing. I had been told by several people who are abreast of the latest techniques and opinion polls, with regard to higher education, that students don't want professors to lecture. Rather, it is best to break them up into small groups for the purposes of having discussion. A number of people told me that today's students are technologically savvy and fidgety, and so can't sit still during a long lecture. They supposedly find the stand-and-deliver method boring.

Not knowing any better, I decided to organize my earliest courses so that students constantly had to form small groups for the purpose of discussion. Unfortunately, I found this method to produce dismal results. Most students--especially freshman--didn't want to talk, even within a group of their peers. On a typical day, several students would not do the reading, and so usually did not have anything to contribute. Asking individuals within the groups questions was often like pulling teeth.

In a few courses, I tried forcing students to do individual research on a topic and then lead the class in discussion for part of their grade. Talk about boring, try listening to a person give a thirty-minute talk on a subject that he or she had looked up on Wikipedia ten minutes before class. Not only did these students not know their subject, but it was typically delivered in a dispassionate way.

In later semesters, I tried lecturing. Despite the warnings that I had received, I figured that it couldn't be worse than previous experiences. It took me several months over the summer to write notes for upcoming courses. In most cases, I put together over 200 pages on Microsoft Word for a particular course like American history or historical theology. I reasoned that if I lectured, at least someone would be talking in class!

I remember being surprised by the result. For the most part, students seemed to enjoy the lectures, especially when I talked about a topic that I was passionate about such as the Great Awakening or the Enlightenment. In a few instances, students thanked me after a lecture. In fairness, I rarely lectured for fifty minutes without stopping for questions. More times than not, I introduced talking points, using the Socratic method. Perhaps young people, who are so immersed in today's soundbite culture, find a lecture that is interesting and presented by a passionate speaker, novel.

I continue to wonder what is the best method of teaching. I suppose the correct answer is that each course demands its own unique structure. There are also some factors that dictate how a course should be run. In larger sections of one hundred or more students, for instance, it would be nearly impossible to break students up into small groups or have them do presentations. But in the smaller classes of thirty or fewer people professors usually have the choice on how to format a class.

Is it true that lecturing is sometimes preferable by students?

Jonathan Yeager

Friday, 20 January 2012

Job Posting--Head of the History Department at UTC

There is an open position for the chair of the history department at UTC.

Here is the ad:

Department Head/History

Chattanooga, TN

The Department of History at the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga invites applications for the position of head of the Department of History. This is a tenurable position with appointment to begin August 1, 2012. Applicants must be at associate or full professor level; the field of specialization is open but candidates must have a PhD in history. The successful candidate must have administrative experience or show evidence of administrative skills, and have the ability to foster and maintain collaborative relationships within the department, with other programs and departments throughout the university, with the administration, and with external agencies. Applicants should have a strong record of excellence in teaching and evidence of scholarly productivity. Review of applications will begin January 15, 2012; while preference will be given to applications received by that date, the review will continue until the position is filled. Candidates should send all materials electronically to Dr. John Phillips, Department of History Head Search Committee Chair, at facultyvitae11@utc.edu. Dossiers should include a letter of interest, current c.v., evidence of administrative experience, statement of teaching and administrative philosophy, a representative article or book chapter, and three letters of recommendation from individuals who can attest to teaching, research, and administrative expertise. When sending materials please reference the title of the position. The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga is an equal AA/Title VI & IX Section 504/ADA/ADEA/EOE. Further information about the department is available at http://www.utc.edu/Academic/History.

Web page: http://www.utc.edu
Web page: http://www.utc.edu/Academic/History/
Web page: http://www.utc.edu/Administration/AcademicAffairs/FacultyOpenings/

E-mail: facultyvitae11@utc.edu

Scripture and Church: Calvin, Servetus and Castellio


Last night Bruce Gordon gave a stimulating lecture at UTC entitled, "Scripture and Church: Calvin, Servetus and Castellio." The lecture hall was packed, with at least one hundred people--a mixture of students, faculty, and members of the Chattanooga community. Bruce's talk examined Calvin's, Servetus's, and Castellio's view of scripture, describing each theologian's way of interpreting the Bible.

I particularly enjoyed the time allotted for questions at the end of the lecture. As a good historian, Bruce did a wonderful job at bringing to light Calvin's strengths and weaknesses from a balanced perspective. While certainly not deifying Calvin, Bruce was quick to defend the Reformer against embellished accounts of him as a blood-thirsty monster who demanded the death of Michael Servetus.

As host of this event, I enjoyed taking Bruce to see Chattanooga's world-class aquarium and learning about what life is like as a faculty member at Yale. He mentioned his hope to produce a biography of Zwingli at some point in the future.

I look forward to the upcoming LeRoy Martin lectures from Gerald McDermott, Thomas Kidd, and Catherine Brekus in mid-February.

Jonathan Yeager

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Christianity Today Blurb


John Wilson, editor of Books & Culture, wrote some brief comments about Enlightened Evangelicalism in the latest issue of Christianity Today.

Here is the blurb: As with modernity, so with "the Enlightenment project": much handwringing. Meanwhile, as if in a parallel universe, scholars are exploring the relationships (multiple, contested) between evangelicalism and the Enlightenment (or Enlightenments). A case in point is Jonathan Yeager's Enlightened Evangelicalism, which begins with a quotation from Sir Walter Scott. Focusing on John Erskine (1721-1803), a prominent Scottish evangelical preacher and theologian, Yeager tells a story with wide resonance. The full page on the CT website can be seen here, which appears the same in the printed form of the latest issue of the magazine on page 64.

As far as I know, there are only two blogs that have posted comments about the book. One is "Sweeney's Booknotes," a blog started by Doug Sweeney at Trinity Evangelical Divinity Seminary. The second is by David Ceri Jones on his blog. The only "published" review that I know of is by Jeff Suderman on H-Net Reviews. Jeff wrote an excellent book on the Scottish Moderate minister, George Campbell. I hear rumors of forthcoming reviews in the Westminster Theological Journal and the Religion in American History blog. Perhaps other published reviews will appear later this year.

On a side note, I was pleased to see that Enlightened Evangelicalism was (albeit briefly) the top 20,000 seller on Amazon.com yesterday and #7 on the "Scotland" list.

Monday, 16 January 2012

ASCH Proposals for the 2013 Meeting


It is already time to think about paper proposals for the 2013 American Society of Church History Conference in January 2013. Proposals are due on March 15. I am open to forming a panel on a topic pertaining to eighteenth-century religious history, evangelicalism, or the Enlightenment.

Below is the Announcement that is posted on the ASCH website:

ASCH 2013 Winter Conference
The annual Winter 2013 meeting of the American Society of Church History (ASCH) will be held Thursday to Sunday, January 3-6, 2013, in New Orleans, in conjunction with the annual meeting of the American Historical Association (AHA). We invite ASCH members and other interested scholars to submit paper and session proposals on any aspect of the history of Christianity and its interaction with culture, including proposals for formal papers, panel and round table discussions, consideration of a major recent book, critical assessments of a distinguished career, and other relevant themes and issues.

In addition to traditional categories relating to periods, geographical areas, and special topics, we will give special consideration to proposals that consider broader themes across periods or regions; engage in interdisciplinary discussion; place theological ideas in historical context; examine particular genres, source materials or methods; or treat the current state of the study of church history. We also invite sessions that deal with pedagogical issues of concern in the teaching of the history of Christianity, or with issues in the publication and dissemination of research to specialist and general audiences. Panels should exhibit diversity of gender, rank, and scholarly location in their composition.

Proposals for entire panels/sessions are strongly preferred, though proposals for individual papers will also be considered. The committee welcomes international participation and particularly encourages proposals (whether for full panels or individual papers) from those who live and work outside the United States. Sessions are typically two hours in length and allow for three or four papers, a formal response, and Q&A with the audience. In order better to group individual papers into sessions, such proposals for individual papers should address one of the following themes:

Christianity and public life, or the relationship of church and state
Christian responses to disaster and suffering
Christianity and race, or creole cultures

The deadline for proposals is March 15, 2012.
(For those interested in submitting joint proposals to the AHA and the ASCH, the deadline for AHA proposals is February 15, 2012. See www.historians.org.)

Paper proposals should consist of (1) a short description of less than 300 words, (2) a biographical paragraph or CV summary of the applicant, and (3) a current mailing location, email address, and phone number for the proposed presenter. Session proposals should contain all of the above for each of the presenters as well as (1) the session title, (2) a brief description of less than 300 words outlining the theme or topic of the session, and (3) biographical data and contact details for the chair and the respondent (which can be the same person). Use of audio-visual equipment is limited to the hotel provider’s equipment, has become very expensive, and must be restricted to presentations for which it is strictly necessary. The proposed use of computers, internet, or projectors in the session must therefore be stated and rationalized in the proposal.

Please send proposals, preferably by email, before March 15, 2012, to the program committee at asch2013@regent-college.edu. Acknowledgements and further information will be sent out as proposals are received. The program committee reserves the right to reconfigure sessions as needed.

NOTE: All program participants must register for the annual meeting and be members of the ASCH at the time of the Meeting.
Bruce Hindmarsh, Program Chair
Regent College, 5800 University Blvd., Vancouver, BC, CANADA, V6T 2E4

University Press or Trade Book?


A few days ago, I received my first royalty check and sales report for Enlightened Evangelicalism. From looking at the report, which shows the number of books sold from last April to September, I was reminded of a conversation I had with a friend who is finishing up his PhD at the University of Chicago. We discussed the current job market for professors as well as ideas for future publications. I posed the question of whether it is better to publish with a firm like Eerdmans, Baker, and InterVarsity or an academic university press.

My friend proceeded to tell me about a session he attended about a year ago at ETS or SBL in which a representative on the panel from a Christian trade publisher commented on how the firm only wanted to produce books that can sell thousands of copies, as opposed to a non-profit university press that will most likely sell only a few hundred copies of a particular title. While discussing the matter, my friend reminded me that university press books, although fewer in number, make a significant contribution to scholarship. That is not to say that a trade book cannot also be a work of scholarship, but the primary objective of a trade publisher seems to be, first and foremost, to produce a book that has wide appeal.

The other issue, especially for professors to consider, is that academic press books are often necessary for tenure and promotions. While publishing a book in general will be helpful for an academic's career, university press titles are usually given more weight in the tenure process and by a promotion committee since there is a rigorous peer-review process with university presses that is not necessarily present with trade publishers.

The ideal, of course, would be to publish a best-seller with a university press--a book that not only helps with your promotion but also sits on the shelves at Barnes & Noble. But that is an unlikely scenario. Most university press books are priced too high to be bought by the general public (especially in a hardback edition) and are marketed to college libraries.

This is a topic I will need to continue to think about as I work on future projects.

Jonathan Yeager

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Olaudah Equiano: African or South Carolinian?


I just finished reading Vincent Carretta's Equiano the African: Biography of a Self-Made Man, a wonderful account of an evangelical who was instrumental in the abolition of the slave trade in Britain. Many students of English literature are familiar with Olaudah Equiano's Interesting Narrative (1789), which chronicles the life of a slave in Africa who is eventually freed, becoming a celebrity in the English-speaking world in the last decade of his life. But unknown to most is that Equiano might have embellished key sections in his autobiography.

According to Equiano, he was born in 1745 in present-day Nigeria, where he claimed to have been abducted at age eleven and sold to English slavers. Forced aboard a ship to the West Indies, he makes his way to the West Indies where he is sold to a Virginia planter who quickly resells Equiano to a British Royal Navy officer named Michael Henry Pascal. His new owner renames Equiano "Gustavus Vassa" before taking his new prize back with him to London, probably in 1754. Between August 1755 and December 1762, most of Equiano's time was spent aboard Royal Navy vessels during the Seven Years' War. Equiano enjoys his time at sea, experiencing a certain equality among his shipmates that would have been unknown had he been a plantation slave. After serving Pascal faithfully for a number of years, Equiano expects to be set free in 1762, but instead is sold to James Doran, captain of a merchant ship headed to Montserrat. In the West Indies, Equiano is sold once more to a Quaker merchant named Robert King.

Through shrewd business ventures of his own, Equiano saves enough money to buy his freedom from King in 1766. The newly freed man makes his living over the next decade as a hairdresser and sailor for hire. Over the course of that time he travels to Italy, modern-day Turkey, and the West Indies. In May 1772 he joins an expedition to the Arctic led by Constantine John Phipps who hopes to find a shorter route to India. Reeling from a near-death experience on the Arctic voyage, Equiano returns to London in late 1773 seeking spiritual guidance. He attends St. James's Anglican parish church several times and explores Quakerism, Roman Catholicism, and Judaism. At one point he considers moving to Turkey, believing that Muslims are more sincere in their beliefs and practices than the Christians he has met.

During his spiritual distress, he meets a couple of silk weavers in Holborn who introduce him to Methodism. He is told that he needs to experience a "new birth" whereby God pardons a person on the basis of the merits of Christ's death on the cross. While aboard a ship headed to Cadiz, Spain, Equiano picks up his Bible and begins reading Acts 4:12, later writing that "the Lord was pleased to break in upon my soul with his bright beams of heavenly light; and in an instant, as it were, removing the veil, and letting light into a dark place... I saw the Lord Jesus Christ in his humiliation, loaded and bearing my reproach, sin, and shame. I then clearly perceived, that by the deed of the law no flesh living could be justified. I was then convinced, that by the first Adam sin came, and by the second Adam (the Lord Jesus Christ) all that are saved must be made alive" (174). He had experienced conversion, the kind of spiritual rebirth that he had been told was necessary for salvation.

In the spring of 1775, Equiano agrees to help a former employer establish a plantation off the Mosquito Coast in Central America. At the time, he suffers no scruples when purchasing slaves to work the fields. Becoming disillusioned with the project, Equiano makes his way back to England at the beginning of 1777. He considers becoming a missionary to Africa, but when his request is denied by the bishop of London, he returns to the sea as a hired sailor once again.

It is not known exactly when Equiano changed his mind about the slave trade--it appears to be a gradual development--but in the mid-1780s he becomes involved in the plans to found Sierra Leone, a colony where free blacks could settle and form their own community. Hired as a commissioner for the project, and later dismissed due to his criticism of the project, Equiano spends the remainder of his life supporting the abolitionist movement. He joins Thomas Clarkson, Granville Sharp, William Wilberforce, and others in trying to convince Britons of the evils of the Atlantic slave trade. Equiano's most significant contribution in this regard is his autobiography, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African, published in 1789. The book went through eleven editions in the eighteenth century, making Equiano wealthy in the process and catapulting him to literary stardom. When he died on March 31, 1797, he was arguably the best known and affluent person of African descent in the Atlantic world.

One of the most interesting aspects of Carretta's biography is his procative thesis that Equiano fabricated part of his narrative in order to bolster the abolitionist movement. Through his research Carretta finds birth and baptismal records describing Equiano as a native of South Carolina, not Africa. Carretta writes, "Equiano certainly knew that to do well financially by doing good for the abolitionist cause he needed to establish and maintain his credibility as an eyewitness to the evils of the transatlantic slave trade and slavery in its various eighteenth-century forms. He also knew what parts of his story could be corroborated by others" (xvi-xvii). In order to oppose slavery, abolitionists needed a credible witness who had experienced the horrors of slavery and the Middle Passage. Carretta believes that Equiano's Interesting Narrative filled this void by providing the kind of proof that abolitionists were keen to exploit.

Carretta's monograph is an excellent biography of the truly interesting life of Olaudah Equiano. But if given the choice, I would first recommend reading his recent book on Phillis Wheatley, which I blogged about earlier. The Phillis Wheatley biography is more concise and cuts down on the number of block quotations that is prevalent throught his book on Equiano. Without diminishing the importance of Carretta's work on Equiano, the new book on Wheatley is the work of a craftsman who has perfected his trade.

Jonathan Yeager

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Lamin Sanneh Coming to UTC


Lamin Sanneh, the D. Willis James Professor of Missions and World Christianity at Yale University, will be speaking at UTC in January 2013 as part of the LeRoy Martin Distinguished Lecturer series. Along with Philip Jenkins, Dr. Sanneh will be talking on a topic pertaining to the theme of global Christianity.

Dr. Sanneh, a naturalized U.S. citizen, is descended from the nyanchos, an ancient African royal house, and was educated on four continents. He went to school with chiefs' sons in the Gambia, West Africa. He subsequently came to the United States on a U.S. government scholarship to read history. After graduating he spent several years studying classical Arabic and Islam, including a stint in the Middle East, and working with the churches in Africa and with international organizations concerned with inter-religious issues. He received his Ph.D. in Islamic history at the University of London.

He was a professor at Harvard University for eight years before moving to Yale University in 1989 as the D. Willis James Professor of Missions and World Christianity, with a concurrent courtesy appointment as Professor of History at Yale College. He has been actively involved in Yale's Council on African Studies. He is an editor-at-large of the ecumenical weekly, The Christian Century, and serves on the editorial board of several academic journals. He is an Honorary Research Professor at the School of Oriental and African Studies In the University of London, and is a life member of Clare Hall, Cambridge University. He serves on the board of Ethics and Public Policy at Harvard University, and the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute in Birmingham, Alabama. He is the author of over a hundred articles on religious and historical subjects, and of several books. For his academic work he was made Commandeur de l'Ordre National du Lion, Senegal's highest national honor.

His Books include:

  • Translating the Message: The Missionary Impact on Culture, Maryknoll, New York: Orbis Books, 1989
  • The Jakhanke Muslim Clerics: A Religious & Historical Study of Islam in Senegambia (c.1250-1905), Lanham, Md.: University Press of America, January 1990.
  • West African Christianity: The Religious Impact,1983: co-published by Christopher Hurst, George Allen and Unwin (London) & Orbis Books (North America) 304pp.
  • Encountering the West: Christianity & the Global Cultural Process: The African Dimension, London: HarperCollins Publishers; Maryknoll, New York: Orbis Books, 1993.
  • The Crown and the Turban: Muslims and West African Pluralism (295pp). Westview Press. Imprint of HarperCollins. October, 1997.
  • Religion and the Variety of Culture: A Study in Origin and Practice, Valley Forge, PA.: Trinity Press International, 1996.
  • Het Evangelie is Niet Los Verkrijgbaar, Uitgeverij Kok - Kampen, Netherlands, 1996.
  • Piety and Power: Muslims and Christians in West Africa, Orbis Books. October, 1996.
  • Faith and Power: Christianity and Islam in 'Secular' Britain (with Lesslie Newbigin & Jenny Taylor), London: SPCK, 1998.
  • Abolitionists Abroad: American Blacks and the Making of Modern West Africa, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2000.
  • Whose Religion is Christianity?: The Gospel Beyond the West, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2003. (Winner: Theologos Award for "Best General Interest Book 2004")
  • The Changing Face of Christianity: Africa, the West, and the World (co-edited with Joel A. Carpenter) Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005.


Thursday, 12 January 2012

Religion in the Age of Wesley, Whitefield, and Edwards

The second course that I am teaching this semester is a new offering at UTC. This is a course that I developed based on my interest and expertise in eighteenth-century evangelicalism. I've entitled it: "Religion in the Age of Wesley, Whitefield, and Edwards." The course is designed to teach students about not only important figures like John and Charles Wesley, George Whitefield, and Jonathan Edwards, but also lesser-known leaders of eighteenth-century evangelicalism.

The main text for the course is Mark Noll's The Rise of Evangelicalism: The Age of Edwards, Whitefield, and the Wesleys. This is the obvious choice for a class on this subject. My hope is that the time in class will allow me to test some of the material that I am putting together for an anthology that is forthcoming with Oxford University Press, as well as giving students the opportunity to do original research on some of the more obscure evangelicals in the eighteenth century.

As part of the course, students will write a research paper on a lesser-known American evangelical. These are the choices:

Francis Asbury, Isaac Backus, Aaron Burr Sr., Joseph Bellamy, Benjamin Colman, Samuel Davies, Jonathan Dickinson, Timothy Dwight, Nathaniel Emmons, Olaudah Equiano, Samuel Finley, Thomas Foxcroft, Samuel Hopkins, Samuel Miller, Jedidiah Morse, Charles Nisbet, Samson Occom, Sarah Osborn, Thomas Prince, Solomon Stoddard, Eleazar Wheelock, Phyillis Wheatley, or John Witherspoon

I am limiting the list to names that can be researched through the on-line Evans collection of early American imprints that is made available through the Lupton Library at UTC. Although I would have liked for students to have access to Eighteenth-Century Collections Online (ECCO), this database would cost the university (at last quote) somewhere in the neighborhood of $150,000 in start-up costs.

Besides the final research paper, I am requiring students to write two book reviews. For the first, they will select one of three options. Option one is George Marsden's Jonathan Edwards: A Life. Option two is to read and write a review of Harry Stout's The Divine Dramatist: George Whitefield and the Rise of Modern Evangelicalism AND Frank Lambert's "Pedlar in Divinity": George Whitefield and the Transatlantic Revivals, 1737-1770. And option three is Henry Rack's Reasonable Enthusiast: John Wesley and the Rise of Methodism.

For their second book review, students will select a text from the following list:

• Dee E. Andrews, The Methodists and Revolutionary America, 1760-1800: The Shaping of an Evangelical Culture (Princeton, 2001)

• Catherine Brekus, Strangers and Pilgrims: Female Preaching in America, 1740-1845 (UNC, 1998)

• Joanna Brooks, American Lazarus: Religion and the Rise of African-American and Native American Literatures (Oxford, 2003)

• Vicki Tolar Burton, Spiritual Literacy in John Wesley’s Methodism: Reading, Writing, and Speaking to Believe (Baylor, 2008)

• Vincent Carretta, Equiano the African: Biography of a Self-Made Man (Georgia, 2005)

• J.C.D. Clark, English Society, 1660-1832: Religion, Ideology and Politics during the Ancien RĂ©gime (Cambridge, 2000)

• Vincent Carretta, Phillis Wheatley: Biography of a Genius in Bondage (Georgia, 2011)

• Milton J. Coalter, Gilbert Tennent, Son of Thunder: A Case Study of Continental Pietism’s Impact on the First Great Awakening in the Middle Colonies (Praeger, 1986)

• Joseph A. Conforti, Samuel Hopkins and the New Divinity Movement: Calvinism, the Congregational Ministry, and Reform in New England Between the Great Awakenings (Eerdmans, 1981)

• John Corrigan, The Prism of Piety: Catholick Congregational Clergy at the Beginning of the Enlightenment (Oxford, 1991)

• Michael J. Crawford, Seasons of Grace: Colonial New England’s Revival Tradition in Its British Context (Oxford, 1991)

• Derek H. Davis, Religion and the Continental Congress, 1774-1789 (Oxford, 2000)

• Katherine Carte Engel, Religion and Profit: Moravians in Early America (Pennsylvania, 2011)

• John Fea, The Way of Improvement Leads Home: Philip Vickers Fithian and the Rural Enlightenment in Early America (Pennsylvania, 2009)

• John Fea, Was America Founded As a Christian Nation?: A Historical Introduction (Westminster John Knox, 2011)

• John R. Fitzmier, New England’s Moral Legislator: Timothy Dwight, 1752-1817 (Indiana, 1998)

• Richard L. Gawthrop, Pietism and the Making of Eighteenth-Century Prussia (Cambridge, 1993)

• John A. Grigg, The Lives of David Brainerd: The Making of an American Evangelical Icon (Oxford, 2009)

• Allen C. Guelzo, Edwards on the Will: A Century of American Theological Debate (Wipf and Stock, 2008)

• David D. Hall, A Reforming People: Puritanism and the Transformation of Public Life in New England (Knopf, 2011)

• Timothy D. Hall, Contested Boundaries: Itinerancy and the Reshaping of the Colonial American Religious World (Duke, 1994)

• David Hempton, Methodism: Empire of the Spirit (Yale, 2005)

• D. Bruce Hindmarsh, The Evangelical Conversion Narrative: Spiritual Autobiographies in Early Modern England (Oxford, 2008)

• D. Bruce Hindmarsh, John Newton and the English Evangelical Tradition (Eerdmans, 1996)

• David L. Holmes, The Faiths of the Founding Fathers (Oxford, 2006)

• David Ceri Jones, ‘A Glorious Work in the World’: Welsh Methodism and the International Evangelical Revival, 1735-1750 (Cardiff, 2004)

• Thomas S. Kidd, God of Liberty: A Religious History of the American Religion (Basic Books, 2010)

• Thomas S. Kidd, The Great Awakening: The Roots of Evangelical Christianity in Colonial America (Yale, 2009)

• David W. Kling, A Field of Divine Wonder: the New Divinity and Village Revivals in Northeastern Connecticut, 1792-1822 (Pennsylvania, 1993)

• Frank Lambert, The Founding Fathers and the Place of Religion in America (Princeton, 2006)

• Frank Lambert, Inventing the “Great Awakening” (Princeton, 2001)

• Ned C. Landsman, From Colonials to Provincials: American Thought and Culture, 1680-1760 (Cornell, 2000)

• Rebecca Larson, Daughters of Light: Quaker Women Preaching and Prophesying in the Colonies and Abroad, 1700-1775 (UNC, 2000)

• Bryan F. Le Beau, Jonathan Dickinson and the Formative Years of American Presbyterianism (Kentucky, 1997)

• Cynthia Lynn Lyerly, Methodism and the Southern Mind, 1770-1810 (Oxford, 2006)

• Jerome Dean Mahaffey, The Accidental Revolutionary: George Whitefield and the Creation of America (Baylor, 2011)

• Jerome Dean Mahaffey, Preaching Politics: The Religious Rhetoric of George Whitefield and the Founding of a New Nation (Baylor, 2007)

• Gerald R. McDermott, Jonathan Edwards Confronts the Gods: Christian Theology, Enlightenment Religion, and Non-Christian Faiths (Oxford, 2000)

• Richard Newman, Freedom’s Prophet: Bishop Richard Allen, the AME Church, and the Black Founding Fathers (NYU, 2009)

• Amanda Porterfield, Female Piety in Puritan New England: The Emergence of Religious Humanism (Oxford, 1991)

• Clotilde Prunier, Anti-Catholic Strategies in Eighteenth-Century Scotland (Peter Lang, 2004)

• Sarah Rivett, The Science of the Soul in Colonial New England (UNC, 2011)

• J. Rixey Ruffin, A Paradise of Reason: William Bentley and Enlightenment Christianity in the Early Republic (Oxford, 2007)

• John Saillant, Black Puritan, Black Republican: The Life and Thought of Lemuel Haynes, 1753-1833 (Oxford, 2002)

• Sharon V. Salinger, Taverns and Drinking in Early America (Johns Hopkins, 2004)

• Jonathan D. Sassi, Republic of Righteousness: The Public Christianity of the Post-Revolutionary New England Clergy (Oxford, 2008)

• Leigh Eric Schmidt, Holy Fairs: Scotland and the Making of American Revivalism (Eerdmans, 2001)

• Robert E. Schofield, The Enlightened Joseph Priestley: A Study of His Life and Work from 1773 to 1804 (Penn State, 2009)

• Erik R. Seeman, Pious Persuasions: Laity and Clergy in Eighteenth-Century New England (Johns Hopkins, 1999)

• Richard B. Sher, Church and University in the Scottish Enlightenment: the Moderate Literati of Edinburgh (Princeton and Edinburgh, 1985)

• John Howard Smith, The Perfect Rule of the Christian Religion: A History of Sandemanianism in the Eighteenth Century (SUNY, 2010)

• David Sorkin, The Religious Enlightenment: Protestants, Jews, and Catholics from London to Vienna (Princeton, 2010)

• Harry Stout, The New England Soul: Preaching and Religious Culture in Colonial New England (Oxford, 1988)

• John R. Tyson, Assist Me to Proclaim: The Life and Hymns of Charles Wesley (Eerdmans, 2008)

• Mark Valeri, Heavenly Merchandize: How Religion Shaped Commerce in Puritan America (Princeton, 2010)

• Mark Valeri, Law and Providence in Joseph Bellamy’s New England: The Origins of the New Divinity in Revolutionary America (Oxford, 1994)

• W. R. Ward, Early Evangelicalism: A Global Intellectual History, 1670-1789 (Cambridge, 2010)

• W. R. Ward The Protestant Evangelical Awakening (Cambridge, 2002)

• Marilyn J. Westerkamp, Triumph of the Laity: Scots-Irish Piety and the Great Awakening, 1625-1760 (Oxford, 1987)

• Marilyn J. Westerkamp, Women and Religion in Early America: 1600-1850 (Routledge, 1999)

• Rachel Wheeler, To Live Upon Hope: Mohicans and Missionaries in the Eighteenth-Century Northeast (Cornell, 2008)

• John Wigger, Taking Heaven by Storm: Methodism and the Rise of Popular Christianity in America (Oxford, 1998 and Illinois, 2001)

• John Wigger, American Saint: Francis Asbury and the Methodists (Oxford, 2009)

• Robert J. Wilson, The Benevolent Deity: Ebenezer Gay and the Rise of Rational Religion in New England, 1696-1787 (Pennsylvania, 1984)

• B.W. Young, Religion and Enlightenment in Eighteenth-Century England (Oxford, 1998)


I've tried to be thorough with this list, giving students the chance to pick a book on a topic that interests them, and covering various disciplines--theology, history, gender, politics, etc. If you have any further suggestions of books to add, I would welcome your input.

Jonathan Yeager

Religion in Southern Culture

I am teaching a course this semester on "Religion in Southern Culture." This is basically a religious history of the South, beginning with a discussion of how the South became the so-called Bible belt of America, and ending with issues related to civil rights. I'm requiring three texts for the class: Christine Leigh Heyrman's Southern Cross: The Beginnings of the Bible Belt, Patrick Q. Mason's The Mormon Menace: Violence and Anti-Mormonism in the Postbellum South, and Paul Harvey's Freedom's Coming: Religious Culture and the Shaping of the South from the Civil War Through the Civil Rights Era. While the first and third are standard textbooks for a course like this, I chose Mason's book because it highlights scenes of anti-Mormon violence in Tennessee, which is the state in which I teach. Mormonism clearly is not the dominant religion in the South, either before or after the Civil War, but Mason's book is important in forcing scholars and students to include other religions into discussions on southern religion, rather than a narrow focus on Protestantism.

For the course, I require students to read the three main texts, writing one discussion question and 1/2 page answer for each of the chapters in the three books. I've required this assignment in previous courses and it seems to be effective in forcing students to do the readings and turn their work in on time, promoting good writing, and creating topics for class discussion.

I also require students to select two books to write reviews from a list of approved titles. Here are the approved titles, broken down into various categories:

General Studies of Religion in the South

· Boles, John B. The Irony of Southern Religion (Peter Lang, 1994)

· Cobb, James C. Away Down South: A History of Southern Identity (Oxford, 2007)

Religion and Women in the South

· Ashton, Dianne. Rebecca Gratz: Women and Judaism in Antebellum America (Wayne St., 1997)

· Brekus, Catherine A. Strangers and Pilgrims: Female Preaching in America, 1740-1845 (UNC , 1998)

· Friedman, Jean E. The Enclosed Garden: Women and Community in the Evangelical South, 1830-1900 (UNC, 1985)

· Kierner, Cynthia A. Beyond the Household: Women’s Place in the Early South, 1700-1835 (Cornell, 1998)

· Lebsock, Suzanne. The Free Women of Petersburg: Status and Culture in a Southern Town, 1784-1860 (Norton, 1984)

· McDowell, John Patrick. The Social Gospel in the South: The Woman’s Home Mission Movement in the Methodist Episcopal Church South, 1886-1939 (LSU , 1982)

· Perdue, Theda. Cherokee Women: Gender and Cultural Change, 1700-1835 (Nebraska , 1998)

· Rodriguez, Jeanette. Our Lady of Guadalupe: Faith and Empowerment among Mexican-American Women (Texas , 1994)

· Turner, Elizabeth Hayes. Women, Culture, and Community: Religion and Reform in Galveston, 1880-1920 (Oxford, 1997)

Religion and Slavery in the South

· Berlin, Ira. Many Thousands Gone: The First Two Centuries of Slavery in North Carolina (Harvard, 1998)

· Boles, John B., ed. Masters and Slaves in the House of the Lord: Race and Religion in the American South, 1740-1870 (Kentucky , 1988)

· Daly, John. When Slavery Was Called Freedom: Evangelicalism, Proslavery, and the Causes of the Civil War (Kentucky , 2002)

· Diouf, Sylviane A. Servants of Allah: African Muslims Enslaved in the Americas(NYU , 1998)

· Irons, Charles F. The Origins of Proslavery Christianity: White and Black Evangelicals in Colonial and Antebellum Virginia (UNC, 2008)

· Morgan, Philip D. Slave Counterpoint: Black Culture in the Eighteenth-Century Chesapeake and Lowcountry (UNC , 1998)

· Wood, Betty. Women’s Work, Men’s Work: The Informal Slave Economies of Lowcountry Georgia (Georgia , 1995)

Regional Studies of Religion in the South

· Clark, Erskine. Our Southern Zion: A History of Calvinism in the South Carolina Low County, 1690-1990 (Alabama, 1996)

· Hall, Gwendolyn Midlo. Africans in Colonial Louisiana: The Development of Afro-Creole Culture in the Eighteenth Century (LSU , 1992)

· Hanger, Kimberly S. Bounded Lives, Bounded Places: Free Black Society in Colonial New Orleans, 1769-1803 (Duke, 1997)

· Heaney, Jane Frances. A Century of Pioneering: A History of the Ursuline Nuns in New Orleans, 1727-1827 (Ursuline Sisters of New Orleans, 1993)

· Hoffman, Ronald. Princes of Ireland, Planters of Maryland: A Carroll Saga, 1500-1782 (UNC , 2000)

· Irons, Charles F. The Origins of Proslavery Christianity: White and Black Evangelicals in Colonial and Antebellum Virginia (UNC, 2008)

· Isaac, Rhys. The Transformation of Virginia, 1740-1790 (UNC , 1982)

· Lebsock, Suzanne. The Free Women of Petersburg: Status and Culture in a Southern Town, 1784-1860 (Norton, 1984)

· McCauley, Deborah Vansau. Appalachian Mountain Religion: A History (Illinois , 1995)

· Morgan, Philip D. Slave Counterpoint: Black Culture in the Eighteenth-Century Chesapeake and Lowcountry (UNC , 1998)

· Nelson, John K. A Blessed Company: Parishes, Parsons, and Parishioners in Anglican Virginia, 1690-1776 (UNC, 2001)

· Owen, Christopher H. The Sacred Flame of Love: Methodism and Society in Nineteenth-Century Georgia (Georgia , 1998)

· Rogoff, Leonard. Homelands: Southern Jewish Identity in Durham and Chapel Hill, North Carolina (Alabama , 2001)

· Schweiger, Beth Barton. The Gospel Working Up: Progress and the Pulpit in Nineteenth-Century Virginia (Oxford, 2000)

· Sobel, Mechal. The World They Made Together: Black and White Values in Eighteenth-Century Virginia (Princeton, 1988)

· Sommer, Elisabeth. Serving Two Masters: Faith, Authority, and Community among the Moravian Brethren in Germany and North Carolina, 1727-1801 (Kentucky , 2000)

· Sparks, Randy J. On Jordan’s Stormy Banks: Evangelicalism in Mississippi, 1773-1876 (Georgia , 1994)

· Sutton, William R. Journeymen for Jesus: Evangelical Artisans Confront Capitalism in Jacksonian Baltimore (Penn State, 1998)

· Thorp, Daniel B. The Moravian Community in Colonial North Carolina: Pluralism on the Southern Frontier (Tennessee , 1989)

· Turner, Elizabeth Hayes. Women, Culture, and Community: Religion and Reform in Galveston, 1880-1920 (Oxford, 1997)

· Van Voorst, Carol. The Anglican Clergy in Maryland, 1692-1776 (New York, 1989)

· Wood, Betty. Women’s Work, Men’s Work: The Informal Slave Economies of Lowcountry Georgia (Georgia , 1995)

African American Religion in the South

· Frey, Sylvia R. and Betty Wood. Come Shouting to Zion: African American Protestantism in the American South and British Caribbean to 1830 (UNC , 1998)

· Gomez, Michael A. Exchanging Our Country Marks: The Transformation of African Identities in the Colonial and Antebellum South (UNC , 1998)

· Hall, Gwendolyn Midlo. Africans in Colonial Louisiana: The Development of Afro-Creole Culture in the Eighteenth Century (LSU , 1992)

· Hanger, Kimberly S. Bounded Lives, Bounded Places: Free Black Society in Colonial New Orleans, 1769-1803 (Duke, 1997)

· Higginbotham, Evelyn Brooks. Righteous Discontent: The Women’s Movement I the Black Baptist Church, 1880-1920 (Harvard, 1993)

· Hinson, Glenn. Fire in My Bones: Transcendence and the Holy Spirit in African American Gospel (Pennsylvania , 2000)

· McMillen, Sally G. To Raise Up the South: Sunday Schools in Black and White Churches, 1865-1915 (LSU , 2001)

· Morgan, Philip D. Slave Counterpoint: Black Culture in the Eighteenth-Century Chesapeake and Lowcountry (UNC , 1998)

· Morrow, Diane Batts. Persons of Color and Religious at the Same Time: The Oblate Sisters of Providence, 1821-1860 (UNC , 2002)

· Sobel, Mechal. Trabelin’ On: The Slave Journey to an Afro-Baptist Faith (Princeton, 1988)

Baptists in the South

· Harvey, Paul. Redeeming the South: Religious Cultures and Racial Identities among Southern Baptists, 1865-1925 (UNC , 1997)

· Higginbotham, Evelyn Brooks. Righteous Discontent: The Women’s Movement I the Black Baptist Church, 1880-1920 (Harvard, 1993)

· Morrow, Diane Batts. Persons of Color and Religious at the Same Time: The Oblate Sisters of Providence, 1821-1860 (UNC , 2002)

· Sobel, Mechal. Trabelin’ On: The Slave Journey to an Afro-Baptist Faith (PUP, 1988)

· Wills, Gregory A. Democratic Religion: Freedom, Authority, and Church Discipline in the Baptist South, 1785-1900 (Oxford, 1996)

Methodism in the South

· Lyerly, Cynthia Lynn. Methodism and the Southern Mind, 1770-1810 (Oxford, 1998)

· McDowell, John Patrick. The Social Gospel in the South: The Woman’s Home Mission Movement in the Methodist Episcopal Church South, 1886-1939 (LSU , 1982)

· Owen, Christopher H. The Sacred Flame of Love: Methodism and Society in Nineteenth-Century Georgia (Georgia , 1998)

· Schneider, Gregory A. The Way of the Cross Leads Home: The Domestication of American Methodism (Indiana , 1993)

Evangelicalism in the South

· Boles, John B. The Great Revival, 1787-1805: The Origins of the Southern Evangelical Mind (Kentucky, 1972)

· Dochuk, Darren. From Bible Belt to Sunbelt: Plain-Folk Religion, Grassroots Politics, and the Rise of Evangelical Conservatisim (Norton, 2011)

· Calhoon, Robert M. Evangelicals and Conservatives in the Early South, 1740-1861 (South Carolina, 1989)

· Eslinger, Ellen. Citizens of Zion: The Social Origins of Camp Meeting Revivalism (Texas, 1999)

· Fea, John. The Way of Improvement Leads Home: Philip Vickers Fithian and the Rural Enlightenment in Early America (Pennsylvania, 2009)

· Barry Hankins, God’s Rascal: J. Frank Norris and the Beginnings of Southern Fundamentalism (Kentucky, 2010)

· Mulder, Philip N. A Controversial Spirit: Evangelical Awakenings in the South (Oxford, 2002)

· Sparks, Randy J. On Jordan’s Stormy Banks: Evangelicalism in Mississippi, 1773-1876 (Georgia, 1994)

Catholicism in the South

· Gannon, Michael V. The Cross in the Sand: The Early Catholic Church in Florida, 1513-1870 (Florida, 1967)

· Heaney, Jane Frances. A Century of Pioneering: A History of the Ursuline Nuns in New Orleans, 1727-1827 (Ursuline Sisters of New Orleans, 1993)

· Morrow, Diane Batts. Persons of Color and Religious at the Same Time: The Oblate Sisters of Providence, 1821-1860 (UNC , 2002)

Religion and Judaism in the South

· Evans, Eli N. The Lonely Days Were Sundays: Reflections of a Jewish Southerner (Mississippi, 1994)

· Rogoff, Leonard. Homelands: Southern Jewish Identity in Durham and Chapel Hill, North Carolina (Alabama , 2001)

· Rubin, Louis D. My Father’s People: A Family of Southern Jews (LSU , 2002)

Theology in the South

· Holifield, E. Brooks. Gentleman Theologians: American Theology in Southern Culture, 1790-1860 (Duke, 1978)

Religion and Civil War in the South

· Daly, John. When Slavery Was Called Freedom: Evangelicalism, Proslavery, and the Causes of the Civil War (Kentucky , 2002)

· Goen, C. C. Broken churches, Broken Nation: Denominational Schisms and the Coming of the Civil War (Mercer, 1985)

· Hill, Samuel S. The South and the North in American Religion (Georgia , 1980)

· Hill, Samuel S. Southern Churches in Crisis Revisited (Alabama, 1999)

· McPherson, James. For Cause and Comrade: Why Men Fought in the Civil War (Oxford, 1997)

· Shattuck, Gardiner. A Shield and Hiding Place: The Religious Life of the Civil War Armies (Mercer, 1987)

· Snay, Mitchell. Gospel of Disunion: Religion and Separatism in the Antebellum South (Cambridge, 1993)

· Woodworth, Steven E. While God Is Marching On: The Religious World of the Civil War Soldiers (Kansas , 2001)

Special Topics on Religion in the South

· Ownby, Ted. Subduing Satan: Religion, Recreation, and Manhood in the Rural South, 1865-1920 (UNC , 1990)

· Tolnay, Stewart E. and E. M. Beck, Festival of Violence: An Analysis of Southern Lynchings, 1882-1930 (Illinois, 1995)

· Wilson, Charles Reagan. Baptized in Blood: The Religion of the Lost Cause, 1865-1920 (Georgia, 1980)


If you have additional titles that I should consider adding, please feel free to contact me.

Jonathan Yeager