Why do Anti Semistism and racism continue Discussion

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Option A: Anti-Semitism

Discuss the origins of anti-Jewish beliefs and actions and how they changed and expanded over time. Why do you think Jewish people have been singled out and targeted for such animosity and violence for so long? How can we try to make sense of rising rates of Anti-Semitism in the modern world?

Option B: American Racism

Discuss the ways in which religion and science were used in attempts to justify slavery in the U.S. and the development and perpetuation of racism in the U.S. How did the images/caricatures of African American people make their way into the mainstream, and become so widely popularized? What instances of racial violence came up as a result of these images?

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Why the Jews? September 2017 Birmingham Holocaust Education Center Who is a Jew? A Jew is a person of the Jewish faith. ▪ According to traditional Jewish law, a Jew is anyone born of a Jewish mother or converted in accordance with Jewish law. Judaism maintains that a Jew, whether by birth or conversion, is a Jew forever. ▪ All Jews consider themselves to be descendants of the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Jews Are Not a Nation ▪ When Jews speak of themselves as a nation, this implies shared ideas, values and heritage, rather than geographic location. ▪ It is a “nation” of mutual responsibility for one another that transcends common land or government. ▪ This is why Jews can be both Jewish and American – or any other nationality. ▪ The modern state of Israel extends the concept of nationhood, & many Jews see themselves as her citizens. Jews Are Not a Race What is Race? In 1950, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) issued the following statement: “Race” is not a biological reality but a myth. All humans belong to a single species, Homo sapiens, and share a common descent. The DNA of any two human beings is 99.9 percent identical. In short, we are all brothers and sisters. The word “race” is used to describe the physical characteristics of a person: skin color, eye color, facial structure. Biological differences between human beings reflect both hereditary factors (nature) and the influence of natural and social environments (nurture). It is history, not science, that reveals how the concept of different human "races" arose, carrying along with it the prejudice and hatred of “racism” that often leads to conflicts. LINK TO SITE What is Ethnicity? Ethnicity describes the cultural identity of a person. These identities can include language, religion, nationality, ancestry, dress, and customs…i.e. learned behaviors. The members of a particular ethnicity tend to identify with each other based on these shared cultural traits. While Jews all share the same religion, they also share SOME ethnic traits that are regional, if not universal. The History of Antisemitism The justification of antisemitism has changed over time… Pagan Anti-Judaism Christian Anti-Judaism Racial Antisemitism While these are distinct frameworks for criticizing Jews, it does not mean that the new ones erased the old ones entirely. Pagan Anti-Judaism Jews experienced hostility well before Christianity came upon the scene. ▪ Pagan hostility was aroused by the refusal of the Jews to join the ecumenical consensus of paganism. ▪ Other prejudices against the Jews developed as an outgrowth of this hostility. ▪ This pagan anti-Jewishness could be regarded as a specific form of xenophobia, the fear and dislike of the stranger simply because he or she is seen as strange. Not all pagans were antisemites. Some became Jews by conversion. Jesus of Nazareth Jesus was born and died a Jew. Jesus presented himself as a “servant” of God, sent to deliver humanity from spiritual death. Through his teachings of love and understanding between humans, and the miracles he performed, he attracted many followers. His followers were a minor sect of Judaism at the time. Jewish religious leaders did not accept Jesus’ interpretation of Jewish law, even saw it as heresy. Jewish leaders feared that Jesus’ popularity would encourage a rebellion against the Roman Empire, prompting the Romans to destroy the Jewish nation. When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a riot was in the making, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, “I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see you to it.” Then answered all the people, and said, “His blood be on us and our children.” (Matthew 27:24-25) The Liege Psalm Book, Belgium, 13th century. It was primarily this verse that was used by the early Christian church leaders to teach that the Jews had placed a curse on themselves. At the same time, the church leaders wrongly allowed Pilate’s act of washing his hands to symbolize that all Romans were free of guilt for what happened to Jesus. Jews depicted nailing Jesus to the cross. St. Catherine's Chapel, Landau, Germany 15th century. White Crucifixion by Marc Chagall. The Birth of Christianity The Church had to demonstrate “the negation of the Jews” and “the election of the Christians.” After the death of Jesus, his ideas of love and understanding between humans were spread by both Jews within the Jewish fold and those who went among the Gentiles to propagate his ideas. The separation between these two groups sharpened when the followers of Jesus claimed that God sent Jesus to the world as the Messiah (Christ) and that he was not only God’s messenger, but God himself in human form. Church and Synagogue The Church with the lance (left) is attacking the Synagogue (right), seated on a pig and identifiable by the hat for Jews. Pulpit Cathedral in Erfurt, 1400. Within a short time, these non-conforming Jews formed a majority, and by the year 70 CE, a new religion (Christianity) had emerged. In less than 400 years, Christianity went from being a persecuted branch of Judaism to being the dominant religion of the Roman Empire. The New Testament When the New Testament was written, Christianity was banned by Roman law. Christianity’s only hope for gaining legitimacy was to “prove” to Rome that its crucifixion of Jesus had been a terrible error, and had only come about because the Jews forced Pilate to do it. Thus, the New Testament depicts Pilate as wishing to spare Jesus from punishment, only to be stymied by a large Jewish mob yelling, “Crucify him.” This account ignores one simple fact. Pilate’s power in Judea was absolute. Had he wanted to absolve Jesus, he would have done so. Original texts were written after Jesus died by various unknown authors. Though Jesus spoke Aramaic, the New Testament (including the Gospels) was written in Greek because that was the language of the Roman Empire. What Did Christians Believe ▪ Christians proclaimed monotheism, but declared Jesus the son of God and thus divine, and advanced the doctrine of the Trinity, one God in three forms. ▪ Christians declared that Jesus heralded a new Covenant with God that replaced Moses’s, that the old laws were now obsolete, and that election to the status of Chosen People was now open to anyone who accepted Christ and the teachings of the new scripture. ▪ Christians accepted the Hebrew Bible as revealing the word of God and incorporated it into their bible as the Old Testament, but then added the Gospels (the “Good News”) and other books as new revelations of God’s will. Christian Anti-Judaism Many blamed the death of Jesus on the Jewish authorities who had turned him over to Pontius Pilate. As time passed, this belief fostered resentment and even hatred toward Jews by those who became known as Christians. ▪ Developed after the death of Jesus. ▪ Claims that the Jews rejected and killed Christ (deicide). ▪ This was included in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke (65-100 CE). ▪ For this crime, the Jews as a group should be persecuted. It was not until the Second Vatican Council (Nostra Aetate) in 1965 that Pope John Paul II and the Catholic Church officially exonerated most of Jesus’ Jewish contemporaries, and all subsequent Jews, of the charge of killing Jesus the Christ. Constantine the Great The Edict of Milan (313 CE) Until the 4th Century, Jews and Christians were both persecuted minorities. With the Edict of Milan, freedom of worship was granted to all in the Roman Empire, regardless of deity. Once Constantine converted on his deathbed in 337 CE, the Church had the power to enforce its anti-Jewish rhetoric. The Baptism of Constantine, Peter Paul Rubens, 1623 CE Within a hundred years, most cities in the Roman Empire had adopted Christianity and Jews found themselves in a Christian world for the first time. The Justinian Code (534 C.E.) Byzantine Emperor Justinian (527-564) had anti-Jewish regulations written into the Roman Code of Law. Jews were degraded to second class citizens. Jews in the Empire could not build synagogues, read the Bible in Hebrew, gather in public places, celebrate Passover before Easter, or testify against Christians in court. Emperor Justinian with members of his court. Most European states later adopted these regulations. Middle Ages (500-1450) Throughout the Middle Ages the Jews became increasingly marginalized. In Roman times Jews were citizens, but in the later Middle Ages they were treated under the law as resident foreigners. Jew lived under the protection of the King, and needed permits to live and work in a town – a “privilege” for which they had to pay the prince, bishop, or town magistrate. The "privilege" to live in Rome is reaffirmed by Emperor Henry VII. Miniature in the Codex Balduini, early 14th C Jews were thus vulnerable to the King’s whims, including, at times, expulsions. The Crusades: 1096-1291 Jews being killed by Crusaders. French Bible, 1250. Jews were slaughtered on a scale that would be unmatched until Hitler’s time. ▪ Approximately 12,000 Jews were killed in the first 7 months of the Crusades. (approximately 1/4 to 1/3 of the Jewish population in Germany and France). ▪ Many Jews left western Europe for the relative safety of central and eastern Europe. ▪ With the Crusades, the status of the Jews as second class citizens became entrenched in Church dogma & state laws throughout Christian Europe. Jews Excluded from Craft Guilds During the second half of the Middle Ages, towns grew and trade expanded. Many economic functions that Jews had fulfilled in the past were taken over by other groups. More and more professions and crafts were organized in guilds. New guild members had to pledge an oath on the Bible, so effectively, Jews were excluded from membership. Unable to join a guild, and unable to own land, only trade and moneylending remained open to the Jews of Western and Central Europe. Jews Become Peddlers Caricature of Jew peddling his wares from door to door. Italy, 1700. The Wandering Jew. Colored Woodcut, Gustave Dore, 1852. Jews Become Money Lenders Until the 15th century, the Church forbade Christians from lending money for interest. As the need for credit expanded, feudal lords were willing to keep their moneylenders from harms way, in return for their service. Lacking occupational options, the Jews were willing and able to provide those loans. Jewish money-lenders in medieval France. Jews become identified with "usury," the lending of money against excessive interest, which was charged because of the risk involved. Jewish money lenders were deeply resented and perceived as greedy and ruthless. Jews are Marked In 1215, Pope Innocent III issued the Fourth Lateran Council stating that Jews must wear special marks on their dress to distinguish them more clearly from Christians. These rules were not carried out for very long, but they would not be forgotten, and they set building blocks for the future. A prophet in a church window in Winchester Cathedral, wearing the "Jew Hat." Holy Sepulchre Chapel, Winchester, England, 13th C Jewish man with the yellow badge. The man holds a moneybag and bulbs of garlic, both often used in the portrayal of Jews. Worms, Germany. 16th C Jews Become Victims Whenever unexplainable, adverse events occurred, Jews were singled out as agents of Satan and became the scapegoats. The result was often murder. The only Jewish defense was to pay protection money, stick together, and keep a low profile. Desecration of the Host In 1215, the Church established the doctrine that the flesh and blood of Jesus Christ was contained in the consecrated Host (a wafer) and wine. These holy Christian foods were used in the mass. Stories began to surface that Jews stole the Host to reenact the Crucifixion. As a result, thousands of Jews were slaughtered. TOP: Jews of Sternberg represented as transfixing hosts Woodcut from Lubeck 1492.. BOTTOM: The Franconian knight Rindfleisch’s six-month rampage of reprisal for an alleged host desecration (1298) devastated 146 Jewish communities across southern Germany and left thousands dead. In this illustration, Jews are being burned alive in the German city of Cologne. Ritual Murder: The Blood Libel This accusation first appeared in Norwich, England in 1144 CE. The disappearance or deaths of Christian children was ascribed to an alleged Jewish need for blood to make matzah for Passover or other ritual purposes. This charge became the pretext for numerous massacres throughout Europe, with the last as late as 1946 in Kielce, Poland. The Black Death / Poisoning of the Wells In 1348-49, Europe was struck by the “Black Death” (bubonic plague). It was estimated to have wiped out as much as 1/3 of the continent’s population. Jews were accused of having caused the plague by poisoning the wells. The Pope issued a bull declaring that Jews were not responsible for the plague, but not before many Jews were burned alive or hanged by enraged mobs. A Jew poisons a Christian water supply by dropping some potion into the well. Early Book Burnings Not only were Jews attacked, but also their books. 1239, Pope Gregory Ordered all Talmuds confiscated and burned. 1553, Pope Julius II Organized a huge book burning on the Jewish New Year. Book-burning conducted by the Dominicans. Panel by Berruguete, 15th Century. Jews Forced to Convert Jews Are Expelled Mid 1500s - The Netherlands welcomed Jews from Spain - Poland welcomed Jews from the Rhineland 1600s - England re-opened its borders to Jews First Jewish Ghetto Venice, 1516 ▪ By order of a Papal Bul: “All Jews were to be enclosed in ghettos, each community could have only one synagogue, all commercial and civil rights were taken away, and all Jews had to wear a contrassegno (identification). ▪ Similar rules had been instituted in 1215, but this was the first time the laws were regulated. Ghetto in Venice, Current View ▪ In 1555, a ghetto was established in Rome. Jews lived here until 1868. Anti-Jewish Measures in History Anti-Jewish Measures in the Third Reich 306 September 15, 1935 Church forbids marriage of Christians & Jews. (Synod of Elvira) Law for the Protection of German Blood & Honor forbids Jews from marrying non-Jews. 306 December 30, 1939 Church forbids Christians from eating with Jews. (Synod of Elvira) Germany passes law barring Jews from railroad dining cars. 535 April 7, 1933 Jews not allowed to hold public office. (Synod of Clermont) Law for the Re-Establishment of the Professional Civil Service; Jews barred from civil service. 538 September 15, 1935 Jews not allowed to employ Christian servants. (Synod of Orleans) Law for the Protection of German Blood and Honor: Jews not allowed to employ German servant under 45. 538 December 3, 1938 Jews not permitted to show themselves in streets during Passion Week (Synod of Orleans) Jews barred from streets on certain days such as Nazi holidays. Anti-Jewish Measures in History Anti-Jewish Measures in the Third Reich 681 May 10, 1933 Burning of the Talmud and other books. (12th Synod of Toledo) Nazis publicly burn the Talmud and other Jewish books. 692 July 25, 1938 Christians not allowed to use Jewish doctors. (Trulanic Synod) Christian not allowed to use Jewish doctors. 1215 September 1, 1941 Church orders Jews to wear special badges. (4th Lateran Council) Germany orders Jews to wear yellow stars. 1267 September 21, 1939 Church decrees that Jews must live in special Jewish section or “ghetto.” (Synod of Breslau) Reinhard Heydrich orders the creation of ghettos in Poland. 1322 May 10, 1933 Pope John XXII orders copies of the Talmud burned on Passover Eve. (Synod of Orleans) Nazis publicly burn the Talmud and other Jewish books. Anti-Jewish Measures in History Anti-Jewish Measures in the Third Reich 14th Century July 1, 1943 German State declares that property of Jews slain in a German city becomes public property. Reich Citizenship Law: Property of a dead Jew becomes property of the state. 1412 April 30, 1940 Jewish districts of Spain are enclosed. First ghetto established in Lodz, Poland. 1434 April 25, 1933 Jews not permitted to obtain academic degrees. (Council of Basel) Law against overcrowding of German schools and universities. 17th c. Germany April 17, 1942 State declared Jewish houses had to be marked. Jewish apartments were to be marked. 18th c. France & 19th c. Germany July 23, 1938 Jews forced to carry documents marking them as Jews. Germany passes decree providing for special Jewish ID cards. 1267 September 21, 1939 Church decrees that Jews must live in special Jewish section or “ghetto.” (Synod of Breslau) Reinhard Heydrich orders the creation of ghettos in Poland. Protestant Reformation Martin Luther ▪ Luther led a revolt against the ideas and practices of the western Christian Church that brought about the Reformation (the division of the Church into Catholic and Protestant sections). ▪ Once a supporter of the Jews, he was frustrated by their unwillingness to convert to Protestantism. Martin Luther (1483-1546) founder of Protestantism ▪ In On Jews and Their Lies (1543) he described Jews as the anti-Christ, worse than devils. Jews were poisoners, ritual murderers, and parasites, he preached, and they should be expelled from Germany “for all time.” Synagogues should be burned to the ground, and all Jewish books should be seized. The Enlightenment and the French Revolution The Age of Faith gave way to the Age of Reason. ▪ The 18th century ushered in an age of freedom and liberation, both from political tyranny and intellectual restrictions. ▪ People should respect each other as equal human beings. There was distrust of all religions. ▪ Many European countries granted Jews citizenship. The goal was to secularize Jews so they could be useful. French philosopher Francois-Marie Arouet aka Voltaire (1694-1778) ▪ Jews could now take up some occupations previously denied. The NEW Religion A nation of free individuals protected equally by the law. The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen (France, 1789) Napoleon granting freedom of worship in 1802: the Synagogue in the form of a woman is being helped on her feet. Jews could now practice their religion freely but as a group were expected to give up their separate culture and identity. Colored print, ca. 1806. th 18 Century Emancipation th 19 Century Trends in European Society 1. Population explosion. Six-fold increase in Jewish population. 2. Industrialization. Boom and bust cycles created resentment. 3. Urbanization. Jewish visibility grew in urban centers. 4. Improved transportation, notably rail and shipping. Increased trade caused increased competition. With this came widespread insecurity. 5. Increased democratization. Privileges and powers of aristocrats diminished. Political agitation increased. 6. Increased secularization. Clergy experienced declining deference. Jews Were Among the Conspicuous Beneficiaries Late 1800, early 1900 % of Population % of Univ. Students % at Main University AUSTRIA 3-4% 17% 33% HUNGARY 5% 25% 25% PRUSSIA 1% 5.4% 17% Lawyer VIENNA 62% Doctor/ Dentist Medical Faulty Total Faculty Journalist Bank Director Board of Stock Exchange 50% 45% 25% 55% 40% 70% GERMANY Jews were 31% of wealthiest families(while only 0.95% of population) Many concluded that the rise of status of some Jews was the result of a conspiracy of all Jews. Reaction to Enlightenment The more liberalism triumphed, the more visible and successful Jews became, the more groups that felt endangered or harmed by economic and political trends lent an ear to a convenient explanation of their troubles. ▪ There was a rush to turn the clocks back and undo the revolution. ▪ Social, economic, and political prejudices grew alongside and sometime in place of older religious resentments. ▪ “Traditional” hatred and language about the Jew transformed into more “secular” terminology: • •rootless•money-loving•materialistic• •heartless•dangerous•disloyal• •conspiratorial•parasite•unassimilatible• ▪ Rise of romantic notions of nation and people – “das Volk.” People began to define themselves by a shared cultural background, language, and common "blood.” Even Jews who had become both Christian and fully assimilated were now considered "alien.“ The French Revolution: Before and After Caran d’Ache, 1898 Rise in Nationalism When the Germans defeated the French in the FrancoPrussian War in 1870, they felt they truly belonged to a “master race.” When Otto von Bismarck’s policy of “blood and iron” succeeded in molding the petty states into the German Empire in 1871, it intensified the German feeling of superiority. 1873 Wilhelm Marr Coins Term Antisemitism By the late 1870s, Jews in Western Europe - though citizens with equal rights - are seen by many as alien to the nation or the people. ▪ Marr based his theory of antisemitism on racial identity. Jews had an inborn character that made them a “slave race.” ▪ A new paradigm for anti-Jewishness which sounded more neutral, objective, “scientific” and in keeping with the liberal, enlightenment. Anti-Semitism vs Antisemitism ▪ The insertion of a hyphen and capital letter implies that there is something called “Semitism.” ▪ “Semitic” defines a group of languages including Hebrew, Arabic, Aramaic, Babylonian, Assyrian, and Ethiopic, rather than an ethnic or racial group. Racial Antisemitism “Aryan” and “Semite” was easily grafted on to the much older distinction between “Christian” and “Jew.” ▪ Until the late 1800s, antisemites had considered Jews dangerous because of their religion/beliefs, not because of what they were. If they converted, resentment of them decreased. ▪ Because of inherited qualities, Jews are incapable of becoming like other people. ▪ Jews are fundamentally subversive toward other peoples and their societies. ▪ Jews corrupt the strength and health of other populations. ▪ Jews cannot be changed, only contained and then eliminated. Jews must be quarantined and eliminated. Pseudo-Darwinism Physiognomy Eugenics Racial Hygiene -Francis Galton (1882-1911) -Alfred Ploetz (1860-1940) -Johann Lavater (1741-1801) Phrenology -Franz Joseph Gall (1758-1828) Descriptive Differences Denote Qualitative Abilities -Arthur de Gobineau, 1850’s Cephalic Index -Anders Retzius (1796-1860) Philology - Friedrich Schlegel (1772-1829) Once Jews were declared the embodiments of unwanted characteristics, their removal could be justified as a form of racial hygiene. Before World War I, even though antisemitism surged, it still remained politically impotent. The Dreyfus Affair, 1894 Antisemitism was only dangerous to Jews when powerful officials or elites set out to exploit it or harness it for their purposes. Captain Alfred Dreyfus, a French Jew, was falsely accused and convicted of passing on French military secrets to the Germans and sentenced to life imprisonment. Dreyfus did not come under suspicion solely or even primarily because he was a Jew, but because the army needed a culprit. It was the antisemitic press that turned Dreyfus’s heritage into the central issue in the case. If there was this much prejudice in enlightened France, the pessimists argued, there was little hope of equal rights for Jews anywhere else in Europe. Dreyfus was exonerated and restored to rank in 1906, but the damage was done. Zionism, 1897 A movement to re-establish a Jewish state in Palestine. Movement launched by Theodor Herzl in 1897. Herzl said it was the Dreyfus Affair that had made him a Zionist. As long as antisemitism existed, assimilation would be impossible, and the only solution for the majority of Jews would be organized emigration to a state of their own. Although noisy at time, antisemitism had failed to sway governments to its will, and failed to panic Jews into thinking that their only future lay in founding their own country. Millions of Jews left Eastern Europe between 1880 and 1910, but not for Palestine, rather to the US. The Jewish state of Israel was not born until 1948, 40 years after the death of Herzl. th Postcards, Late 19 Century "Bourse," ("Stock Exchange"), a French postcard repeats the well-known theme of Jews running after money. German postcard ridicules Jews as being ostentatious. American postcard depicting a Jewish girl named Irma Kohn unable to properly use the telephone because her enormous nose blocks her from speaking in the mouthpiece. The poem offers another play on words, replacing nose’r for “no sir.” [circa 1905.] A stereotypical Eastern European Jew with a bulbous nose, beard, and side locks, long, flat feet, umbrella, and tattered clothes. Note the bugs crawling on the ground and on the Jew’s coat. The Jew is holding a miniature version of Tsar Nicholas II in his palm as well as two Russian soldiers on his back. The caption says: “Care for a Russian? Cheap offer, due to the House of ‘Nicholaus Romanov’ going out of business.” This card was published during WWI at the time of the Russian Revolution and the downfall of the House of Romanov. The tsar was executed by the Bolsheviks in 1918. The Orwellian allegation of this postcard is that powerful Jews caused the downfall of the tsar, and the Jew now holds the Russian leader in the palm of his hand. [Mailed within Germany in June 1917.] Depicts various animals with stereotypical Jewish faces caged in a zoo. Plays on the meaning of common Jewish names that are written in German above each animal’s cage. (From right to left) Familie Lowy (the family of lions); Bär for bear; Wolf, which has the same meaning in English; and Hirsch for deer. Even the parrot at top right has an exaggerated nose as if also “Jewish.” The sign at the bottom says: “New! Large Menagerie/ paraded [in a manner meant to humiliate] by the German ‘Michel’ [a typical German name].” The depiction of Jews behind bars in the 1890’s-era postcard is an eerie foreshadowing to the ghettos of World War II. [Germany; circa 1889] A German antisemitic postcard from the time before National Socialism came to power: "Then and now." A pre-World War I postcard, advertising a “unique Jew-free hotel” in Frankfurt, opposite the main railway station. A member of the hotel staff is shown kicking a Jew, a would-be customer, into the street. On the envelope, the purple seal of the hotel confirms that is Judenfrei (Jew-free) a boast that thousands of German towns and villages were to make after Hitler came to power. Protocols of the Elders of Zion 1905 ▪ First published in Russia. ▪ The supposed writings of a secret group of rabbis plotting to take over the world. ▪ Later found to be concocted by the secret police of Czar Nicholas II, based on a French satirical essay, in an attempt to blame the Jews for problems Russia was experiencing. ▪ Became an essential weapon in the arsenal of Nazism. Nostra Aetate, 1965 Can the damage of 18+ centuries be reversed? Nostra Aetate, “In Our Time,” are the first words of the declaration written during the Second Vatican Council. The English title is: “Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions.” It rejects the charge that the Jewish people are responsible for Jesus’ death, an accusation used for centuries to justify the persecution of Jews. It “decries hatred, persecutions, displays of antisemitism, directed against Jews at any time and by anyone.” Most Protestant churches followed suit, and since 1965 many Christians have worked cooperatively with Jews to correct antisemitic interpretations within Christian theology. Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel with NY Cardinal Augustine Bea, who lead the effort to pass the Nostra Aetate. (Photo: American Jewish Committee) Why the Jews? 1. Because of ancient European traditions of blaming the Jews for disasters, a tradition rooted in religious rivalry and superstition, that even assumed new forms during the 18th and 19th centuries. 2. The Nazis simply built on these prejudices and carried them to lengths that heretofore were unimaginable. 3. A substantial part of the population had to be ready to consider it desirable, acceptable, or at least unavoidable, that certain other people would be isolated, persecuted, and killed. 4. Leadership, political will, and the manipulation of popular sentiments was needed to fan hostility into organized killing. Who has made us Jews different from all other people? Who has allowed us to suffer so terribly until now? It is God Who has made us as we are, but it will be God, too, Who will raise us up again. Who knows -- it might even be our religion from which the world and all peoples learn good, and for that reason and that reason alone do we now suffer. We can never become just Netherlanders, or just English, or representatives of any other country for that matter. We will always remain Jews. - Anne Frank Chapter Title: THE LONG LIFE OF PROSLAVERY RELIGION Chapter Author(s): Luke E. Harlow Book Title: The World the Civil War Made Book Editor(s): Gregory P. Downs and Kate Masur Published by: University of North Carolina Press Stable URL: http://www.jstor.com/stable/10.5149/9781469624198_downs.9 JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org. Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at https://about.jstor.org/terms University of North Carolina Press is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to The World the Civil War Made This content downloaded from 146.244.101.138 on Mon, 12 Oct 2020 16:36:34 UTC All use subject to https://about.jstor.org/terms 5 THE LONG LIFE OF PROSLAVERY RELIGION Luke E. Harlow Historians know well the central role proslavery religion played in the antebellum white South. American Protestantism faced an intractable crisis over slavery before the Civil War, and the United States’ three largest antebellum religious denominations—Methodists, Baptists, and Presbyterians—suffered schisms into northern and southern branches over the slavery question. The South’s white Protestants grounded their argument in a conservative reading of the Bible that demonstrated unequivocally that their Triune God of Grace sanctioned the right of white masters to own black slaves. Breaking from northern Protestants strengthened the voice of the white southerners on slavery, and proslavery theology became the critical ideological building block in the making of southern sectionalism and, ultimately, the Confederacy.1 The Confederate political project ended in defeat, but that did not mean the defeat of proslavery theology. White Protestants throughout the once-slaveholding South made that argument long after slavery’s demise. As a widely circulated official statement from southern Presbyterians put it boldly in 1871: The dogma which denies the lawfulness of [slavery] under any circumstances; which condemns it as always contrary to the Divine will; which asserts its inherent sinfulness, is completely contradicted by the plainest facts and teachings of the Old Testament and New; is a doctrine unknown to the Church until recent times; is a pernicious heresy, embracing a principle not only infidel and fanatical, but subversive of every relation of life, and every civil government on earth.2 132 This content downloaded from 146.244.101.138 on Mon, 12 Oct 2020 16:36:34 UTC All use subject to https://about.jstor.org/terms This was not merely a conservative white supremacist statement, pining for a bygone slaveholding era. Their denomination had come into existence in December 1861 as the Presbyterian Church in the Confederate States of America, founded on a proslavery platform. But here a decade later these southern Presbyterians expressly denied “that it was the duty of the Church to perpetuate the institution of slavery.” Instead, they rejected the approach of their northern counterparts’ theology on the issue. They claimed they defended slavery not for slavery’s sake, but because the Christian God had sanctioned it in Holy Scripture. To take issue with that God was to take issue with the right order of things.3 Such bold and defiant rhetoric, several years after the end of American slavery, calls us to consider cultural continuities that spanned the era of the American Civil War. It forces us to reevaluate what the Civil War accomplished and, furthermore, what was possible after the fact. To say that the ideas that drove the Confederacy survived the Civil War is to question our collective confidence in the power of formal politics, as well as our faith in the force of military might to reshape cultures. To raise questions about cultural continuity during the Civil War era does not mean that the conflict was unnecessary or pointless. But it does suggest that for all the war accomplished, it did not wipe clean the cultural slate. In the war’s aftermath many northern leaders looked on the South, as Stephen Prince’s essay in this volume shows, as a ruined region ready for remaking in the image of the North. But that ambition ran headlong into manifest white southern resistance—often in the form of violent intimidation directed at those who preached an emancipatory gospel, whether northern whites or freedpeople.4 Historians generally agree in calling the white southern opposition to the post–Civil War expansion of civil and voting rights to freedpeople a “counterrevolution.” Yet much disagreement persists about where the white southern counterrevolution came from—especially its causes, and relatedly, its timing. Attention to religion, however, can clarify much in this debate. With as much as 40 percent of the United States’ population affiliated with evangelical Protestantism on the eve of the Civil War, evangelical churches were the most politically significant voluntary organizations everywhere in mid-nineteenth-century America, but their influence was particularly outsized in the South.5 Furthermore, in a United States that guaranteed the state’s noninterference with matters of church, no mechanisms existed to compel proslavery believers to change their minds, The Long Life of Proslavery Religion ■ 133 This content downloaded from 146.244.101.138 on Mon, 12 Oct 2020 16:36:34 UTC All use subject to https://about.jstor.org/terms no matter how many laws might change. White southern churches, in short, were intentionally protected spaces where the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments would not apply. Notwithstanding the importance of religious observance and institutions to white southerners, social and political historians have all but ignored the role of religion in the postwar period—save for its role in defining the meaning of freedom among freedpeople.6 But that oversight, which fails to consider the most ubiquitous source of cultural values in the American South, substantially limits the field’s interpretive horizons when it comes to discerning what was possible following emancipation. Some historians have noted the disorganized and fractured nature of white southern politics during the war and early years of Reconstruction, arguing that white opposition to federal policy did not fully coalesce until after 1867’s Reconstruction Acts led to black enfranchisement and biracial Republican coalitions that challenged Democratic domination. In this view, dedicated counterrevolutionary opposition flowed from political sources external to the white South, did not appear until well after Confederate surrender, and was expressly tied to African American suffrage. By contrast, others have argued that the backlash against southern black and white Republicans in the wake of emancipation was “nothing new” and “hardly could have been unanticipated,” part of a continuous white supremacist program that extended from the antebellum era, fueled by an irrational racism.7 The history of the South’s white churches challenges these assumptions. It shows that the counterrevolution was not sustained by simple white supremacist paranoia or basic desires for Democratic hegemony triggered by external political forces—profound as both these realities were. The roots of southern whites’ postwar resistance extended backward in time, to long before the Civil War itself could have been imagined. Before U.S. victory, before Radical Republicans ever sat down to determine the fate of the conquered South, the region’s white churches had long been mobilized against any attempts to meddle with what they saw as timeless Christian truth. The counterrevolution drew from the deep well of white Christian moral reasoning that had constituted a coherent and continuous aspect of the white South’s political culture. This essay establishes the antebellum and Civil War context for religious dispute over the slavery question before focusing closely on white southern Protestants’ proslavery arguments after emancipation. It makes 134 ■ Luke E. Harlow This content downloaded from 146.244.101.138 on Mon, 12 Oct 2020 16:36:34 UTC All use subject to https://about.jstor.org/terms its claims based on formal statements from leading clergy from the South’s three largest denominations: the Southern Baptist Convention (founded 1845), the Methodist Episcopal Church, South (founded 1845), and the Presbyterian Church in the United States (formerly the Presbyterian Church in the Confederate States of America). Throughout the long Civil War era, the slavery question remained the key source of division between southern and northern believers. Long after emancipation, southern white denominations continued to assert the justness of their independent existence and, more generally, the slaveholding southern way of life. In turn, they refused fellowship with any who disagreed. In the antebellum context, proslavery theology fueled white supremacist politics. When slavery died, the beliefs that had sustained slavery breathed life into the counterrevolutionary white supremacist order. The proslavery theology itself never concerned the slavery question alone: it was, at root, about how Christians claimed to read Holy Scripture. In the context of the American nineteenth century, evangelical notions of orthodoxy drew from a belief in the supreme authority of the “Bible alone” for shaping matters of faith and practice, which led to a common method of interpreting the text. This reading deemed the Bible an eminently readable book containing Holy Spirit—inspired teachings that any individual Christian could plainly apprehend. Drawn from the legacies of the Scottish Enlightenment and American political philosophy, this democratized, commonsense methodology led to literalistic biblical interpretation. Ubiquitous among evangelicals of the period, the hermeneutic stressed the immediate relevance and applicability of scriptural teaching to practical affairs of everyday nineteenth-century life. This plain reading of the Bible emphasized the text’s ostensibly obvious meanings.8 For white believers accustomed to the hegemonic place of white Protestant values in the nineteenth-century American South, claims for the theological relevance of the slavery question after emancipation did not indicate a facile unwillingness to admit the ostensible “wrongness” of slavery. No, it cut far deeper than that. This was an argument about how the Christian God called his people to live. For theologically conservative Protestants, the Bible revealed that standard; inspired biblical teachings clearly taught that slavery was a Christian institution. Whether in the Mosaic Code or the Pauline epistles, Holy Scripture depicted a world of divinely sanctioned slaveholding. Given Jesus of Nazareth’s silence on the issue in the Gospels—despite condemning many other sins—proslavery believers The Long Life of Proslavery Religion ■ 135 This content downloaded from 146.244.101.138 on Mon, 12 Oct 2020 16:36:34 UTC All use subject to https://about.jstor.org/terms read a text that described slaveholding as God given. Slavery therefore concerned divine economy as much as political economy. And for believers who saw no distinction between those two spheres, proslavery religion represented a totalizing worldview. It was shorthand for the way things were meant to be. As historians have come to understand, the slavery debates and antislavery activism paved the way—prior to Darwin or biblical higher criticism—for the rise of Protestant liberalism. To challenge slavery was to challenge everything, because it meant questioning God’s revelation to humanity. For white Christians in the American South, however, there would be no quick transition to the postemancipation world. There would be no getting over slavery, for there was no way to go beyond the biblical witness without becoming a heretic.9 The biblical mandate for slavery was widely understood—if not always unchallenged—among evangelical Protestants in America prior to the Civil War. Southern proslavery divines made much of the biblical warrant for slavery, but many otherwise antislavery ministers in the North— including the Presbyterian Charles Hodge, the Baptist Francis Wayland, and the Congregationalist Moses Stuart—also conceded the biblical imprimatur for slavery. Such concessions did not mean that emancipationist clergy rejected the narrow proslavery biblical argument, but rather that they distinguished between ancient and American slavery. While some antislavery activists, including the constellation of abolitionists associated with Boston’s William Lloyd Garrison, argued from a radical perspective that a higher human law demonstrated the Bible’s erroneous character given its endorsement of slavery, more moderate antislavery religious voices held to biblical authority yet attempted to show how the slavery in scripture differed greatly from American slavery. They pointed out that the American system ripped apart families in the slave trade and neither recognized such biblical concepts as the Jubilee Year (in Mosaic Law, when all slaves were set free every seven years) nor allowed for marriage between slaves. Most significantly, they insisted that biblical slavery was not based on racial difference, while American slavery clearly was. Thus antebellum American evangelicals grew deeply divided over the slavery question. By 1861, two factions had emerged, more or less divided sectionally, both claiming to read the Bible the same way, both denouncing the other as sinful. On one side were southern proslavery divines who insisted on following the letter of the biblical text and who saw a direct divine sanction of American slavery. On the other side were antislavery 136 ■ Luke E. Harlow This content downloaded from 146.244.101.138 on Mon, 12 Oct 2020 16:36:34 UTC All use subject to https://about.jstor.org/terms clergy who maintained that a deeper understanding of the gospel’s broad intent, revealed through the Bible, denounced American slavery because it differed from the slavery of biblical times.10 The conclusions each side reached gave shape to different understandings of how Christians ought to engage the world. In many ways, therefore, the Civil War represented the clash of two distinct political theologies— both framed and forged by religious conflict over the slavery question. Throughout the war the North’s leading denominations made overtly nationalistic statements that demanded Unionist loyalty from adherents and reflected a robustly providential view of the United States’ place in world history. Northern Protestants’ conviction of the divinely elevated nature of the American project resonated broadly with a theological understanding of the church’s relationship to the state that had persisted north of the Mason-Dixon line since the Puritan era. For many northern Protestants, the Civil War represented the culmination of a millenarian vision, a necessarily violent hurdle to be cleared before inaugurating an age of peace and ultimate divine favor on the American people. Since the slaveholding South had rejected the providentially ordained United States by seceding, Protestant northerners, understanding themselves as participating in a divine covenant with the Christian God, believed they must eradicate rebellious elements of society in what might amount, as one historian memorably put it, to an “American Apocalypse.”11 Similar ideas persisted in the slaveholding South. When the Confederate States of America ratified its constitution in March 1861, the southern document—in sharp contrast to the nonsectarian and religiously neutral U.S. Constitution—signaled to all readers that the new nation “invok[ed] the favor and guidance of Almighty God.” As in the North, the people of the South developed the belief that they were a chosen people who participated in a covenant relationship with God. From a southern religious perspective, the Confederate cause—and war in its name—was a Christian one. White southerners entered the Civil War convinced of having God on their side.12 But that move broke with historic southern Protestant political-theological tradition. For at least a century, dating to the colonial era, southern evangelicals had refrained from wielding religion in direct political engagement, believing the church a purely spiritual institution that should not meddle with the purely secular affairs of state. That pervasive southern Protestant doctrine, which achieved its fullest articulation as The Long Life of Proslavery Religion ■ 137 This content downloaded from 146.244.101.138 on Mon, 12 Oct 2020 16:36:34 UTC All use subject to https://about.jstor.org/terms the “spirituality of the church,” was implicitly proslavery. Its adherents asserted that the church’s proper role was to aid in the saving of souls and the cultivating of individual piety, not to work for the Christianization of society at large. White southerners could be certain of slavery’s morality because of the institution’s biblical foundation. As a result, they argued, churches ought not haggle over and meddle with the legality of slavery. It was a righteous institution but, as a legal matter, best left to the state. Shifting definitions of the political rendered a commitment to the spirituality of the church somewhat arbitrary in practice. Yet many white southerners nonetheless sincerely believed that they lived by the doctrine that the church had no business weighing in on purely political matters. They cited the words of Jesus of Nazareth who, on trial before crucifixion, refused to claim earthly power for himself and argued, “My kingdom is not of this world.”13 Yet with the rise of more aggressive antislavery activism in the 1830s and the rhetorical attacks on southern society that followed, southern Protestants became increasingly vocal about supposedly secular political affairs. They insisted that slavery, the bedrock of antebellum white southern society, was ordained of God—and that theological claim held significant political weight. As the most famous southern minister in the period, the Presbyterian James Henley Thornwell of South Carolina, had argued in 1850, the stakes were high. “It is not the narrow question of Abolitionism or Slavery—not simply whether we shall emancipate our negroes or not; the real question is the relations of man to society, of States to the individual, and of the individual to the States—a question as broad as the interests of the human race.” Thornwell had characterized the antebellum slavery debates in dualistic terms, claiming, “in one word, the world is the battle ground, Christianity and Atheism the combatants, and the progress of humanity the stake.” A fundamental distinction existed between those who sought slavery’s end and those Christians who affirmed the institution. In Thornwell’s analysis, “One party seems to regard society . . . as the machinery of man, which, as it has been invented and arranged by his ingenuity and skill, may be taken to pieces, reconstructed, altered or repaired, as experience shall indicate defects or confusion in the original plan.” However, this misguided social vision was countered by “the other party,” who “beholds in [society] the ordinance of God.” According to Thornwell, social problems were thus ultimately inscrutable to human minds. In his argument, “irregularity is the confession of our ignorance, 138 ■ Luke E. Harlow This content downloaded from 146.244.101.138 on Mon, 12 Oct 2020 16:36:34 UTC All use subject to https://about.jstor.org/terms disorder the proof of our blindness, and with which it is as awful temerity to tamper as to sport with the name of God.” Humans were not divine, and “the weakness of man can never make that straight which God hath made crooked.” Opponents of slavery thus erred gravely—not simply with regard to political order, but with regard to divine order as well.14 In short, antislavery northerners were heterodox. Southerners believed they ignored the plain, commonsense, literal teaching of the Bible about slavery. Thus the election of Abraham Lincoln to the U.S. presidency in November 1860 proved decisive in securing southern religious support for the Confederacy. White southerners convinced of the righteousness of slavery came to believe that an abolitionist conspiracy had taken over the American government. In 1861 the evangelical South suddenly laid claim to the same sort of politicized religious identity that had persisted in the Protestant North for more than two centuries.15 For those northern Protestants whose political theology went through no transformation in the period, the political and military aspects of the Civil War were often indistinguishable from their religious goals. In their view, the war provided the occasion to remake southern religion as much as it might remake southern society at large. As northern believers saw it, they needed to send missionaries from their antislavery faith to help the South transition from a benighted slaveholding society to one free. Outside the realm of denominational polities, the effort began in earnest when the nonsectarian, evangelical abolitionist American Missionary Association (AMA) established a school for fugitive slaves at Fortress Monroe, Virginia, in September 1861.16 Within a year, the North’s leading Protestant denominations began likeminded efforts. An early overture came from the northern American Baptist Home Mission Society (ABHMS) in June 1862. By their lights, “Divine Providence” was at work in the “recent abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia, and in the setting free of thousands of bondmen by the advancement of our national armies into insurgent States.” The Christian God was “about to break the chains of the enslaved millions in our land,” and, as a result, the ABHMS anticipated “the entire reorganization of the social and religious state of the South, which must inevitably follow the successful overthrow of the rebellion.” That inevitably bore the mark of the “Divine Hand,” who would “thus furnish an unobstructed entrance for the Gospel among vast multitudes who have hitherto been shut out from its pure teachings.” Northern Baptists moved to respond immediately to these new conditions. They The Long Life of Proslavery Religion ■ 139 This content downloaded from 146.244.101.138 on Mon, 12 Oct 2020 16:36:34 UTC All use subject to https://about.jstor.org/terms commissioned “missionaries and teachers” for “emancipated slaves” to help usher in the new order.17 During the next two years, other leading religious denominations in the North, black and white, joined the cause. By the spring of 1865, the Methodist Episcopal Church, the Old and New School Presbyterian Churches, the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church had all sent missionaries to the South. Along with missionaries from the AMA and the Quaker and Unitarian-supported American Freedmen’s Union Commission, their numbers would greatly increase in the aftermath of the war.18 Northern missionaries often cooperated directly with the U.S. Army, and they received the blessing of members of the Lincoln administration. With the mass destruction the Civil War brought, as well as the social disruption to local communities, many southern churches wound up abandoned. Or so it appeared to the northern Methodist bishops Matthew Simpson and Edward Ames, who appealed to Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton for the authority to manage vacated church properties. Stanton agreed, and in late November 1863, he ordered U.S. military officials to allow Methodists to occupy or take control over churches in rebellious states “in which a loyal minister . . . does not now officiate.” By the early months of 1864, Stanton had spread that same mandate to the leadership of other northern Protestant denominations. For religious bodies that had split over the slavery question in the antebellum period, the orders represented a chance to reclaim a previously lost connection to old memberships. Moreover, as many northerners asserted late in the war, it allowed the restoration of national, rather than sectional churches.19 But Stanton’s church orders were short lived. Though northern missionaries came to control several dozen Baptist and Methodist churches in the South, by 1865 the Lincoln administration had rescinded the orders and restored a number of congregations to their former owners. Then Andrew Johnson’s administration oversaw the return of all remaining southern churches by the spring of 1866. The aegis of the United States military could not be brought to bear interminably on the shape of American religious life.20 More to the point, white southern believers did not see such overtures as signs of goodwill. They saw a meddlesome and blatantly political attempt to use the federal government’s power for the ends of Yankee Protestantism. The charge held some truth. In their annual address in 1864, the northern Methodist bishops had collectively stated their “solemn 140 ■ Luke E. Harlow This content downloaded from 146.244.101.138 on Mon, 12 Oct 2020 16:36:34 UTC All use subject to https://about.jstor.org/terms judgment that none should be admitted to [northern Methodist] fellowship who are either slaveholders or are tainted with treason.” On the heels of the surrender of various Confederate armies, northern Baptists and Presbyterians made similar pronouncements at their denominational meetings in May 1865. The Presbyterian approach was particularly strident. Noting that some ministers who had sided with the Presbyterian Church in the Confederate States of America during the war might reapply for ordination in the northern Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA), the northern church required two tests. First, ministers who had in “any way, directly or indirectly” been involved in “aiding or countenancing the rebellion and the war” were required to “confess and forsake” that action as sin. Second, ministers had to disavow the idea that “the system of negro slavery in the South is a Divine institution, and that it is ‘the peculiar mission of the Southern Church to conserve the institution of slavery as there maintained.’>” Any southern minister who refused to repent of these errors would not be allowed to preach in the PCUSA.21 Such proclamations, while couched in language of sectional reconciliation, only served to intensify the schism between northern and southern believers. Having lost a war prosecuted in the name of a Christian God who ordained slavery, southern Protestants hardly entertained sectional rapprochement—particularly on these terms. White southerners viewed the sweep of northern religious activity during the war—from missionary efforts to an ostensibly unredeemed South, to the colonizing of churches devastated by war through government force, to religious reunion on northern terms—as confirmation of their old antebellum feeling that their northern counterparts were a heterodox people, unworthy of Christian fellowship.22 It was in this context that white southern Protestants also reasserted their righteousness, which derived from their doctrinal fidelity. By mid1865, the military work of the Civil War had concluded, but the religious fights that the war represented were by no means resolved. Although the Thirteenth Amendment had been passed by Congress and would soon become law, the freedom of many thousands of enslaved people had not yet been secured. Regardless of what was happening on the ground, however, southern Protestants insisted that slavery remained a divinely approved institution. Legal and military realities had not changed their Christian truth, nor had they changed the nature of the white South’s religious identity.23 The Long Life of Proslavery Religion ■ 141 This content downloaded from 146.244.101.138 on Mon, 12 Oct 2020 16:36:34 UTC All use subject to https://about.jstor.org/terms In March 1865, one of the leading lights of postbellum southern Presbyterianism, Louisville’s Stuart Robinson, published a treatise titled Slavery, As Recognized in the Mosaic Civil Law, Recognized . . . and Allowed, in the . . . Christian Church. In the main, Robinson did not offer a novel argument. But appearing just weeks after Lincoln’s second inaugural address, it was remarkable for its insistence on the righteousness of slavery. It furthermore condemned Lincoln’s speech for its appropriation of Christian abolitionist arguments—and the quoting of biblical chapter and verse to that end—in the name of the Civil War. Robinson contended that, after reading his treatise on slavery, true believers would give abolitionist ideas a “sober second thought” and understand the “relation of master and slave” as divinely sanctioned.24 By the summer of 1865, a chorus of white southerners was making similar arguments about the ongoing salience of the proslavery position, all with official denominational sanction. In June, a group of Methodists comprising laity and clergy and joined by the Methodist Episcopal Church, South (MECS) bishop Hubbard H. Kavanaugh, gathered in Palmyra, Missouri, to denounce the wartime efforts of northern Methodists to take over southern churches with military support. The slavery question loomed large in the so-called Palmyra Manifesto they produced to explain their position. “Those who publish to the world that all the differences between [northern and southern Methodists are] swept away with the institution of slavery are either ignorant of the facts or are trying to mislead the public,” they argued. “The question upon which the Church divided was not whether the institution of slavery was right or wrong, per se, but whether it was a legitimate subject for ecclesiastical legislation. The right or wrong of the institution, its existence or non-existence, could not affect this vital question.” Their next words were significant: slavery was “now abolished by Federal and State legislation, which event we accept as a political measure with which we have nothing to do as a Church.” Read one way, the statement might be taken to mean that these southern Methodists in Missouri accepted the death of American slavery. Perhaps they did. But read in the context of all other white southern Protestant writing on slavery during the period, it seems more likely that they meant that the political resolution to the slavery question had no bearing on the church’s teaching on the subject.25 Robinson’s Slavery volume and the southern Methodist Palmyra Manifesto precipitated two major southern denominational statements that 142 ■ Luke E. Harlow This content downloaded from 146.244.101.138 on Mon, 12 Oct 2020 16:36:34 UTC All use subject to https://about.jstor.org/terms appeared in the latter half of 1865, both nationally circulated “pastoral letters.” One was issued in August by three leading MECS bishops; the other came in December from the General Assembly of the southern Presbyterian Church. The southern Presbyterians’ pastoral letter succinctly summarized the white Christian South’s view of the stakes of the old religionand-slavery dispute for the postslavery order. The “relation” of slavery “is now overthrown,” it argued, “suddenly, violently.” It was for “history” and the Christian God to decide “whether [slavery’s end came] justly or unjustly, in wrath or in mercy, for weal or for woe.” But the church remained resolutely committed to two core principles it had long held.26 The first was that abolitionism was a grievous error. Because their 1865 language so closely mirrored what might be called the thesis of the antebellum white Christian South, it merits quotation at length: While the existence of slavery may, in its civil aspects, be regarded as a settled question, an issue now gone . . . the lawfulness of the relation as a question of social morality, and of Scriptural truth, has lost nothing of its importance. When we solemnly declare to you brethren, that the [abolition] dogma which asserts the inherent sinfulness of this relation, is unscriptural and fanatical; that it is condemned not only by the word of God, but by the voice of the Church in all ages; that it is one of the most pernicious heresies of modern times; that its countenance by any Church is a just cause of separation from it, (1 Tim. 6:1–5.) we have surely said enough to warn you away from this insidious error, as from a fatal shore.27 The laws of the state had changed, but God’s law was eternal. White southerners’ distinctiveness on the slavery question lived on, in spite of the death of slavery. They would preserve the true faith. Relatedly, and secondarily, these southern Presbyterians argued that they had nothing to apologize for in their slaveholding past. “Whatever . . . we may have to lament before God, either for neglect of duty to our servants, or for actual wrong while the relation lasted, we are not called, now that is has been abolished, to bow the head in humiliation before men.” There was no cause “to admit that the memory of our dear kindred is to be covered with shame.” Southern slaveholders were no different than biblical patriarchs. As was the case with biblical slavery, they argued, American slavery had served an evangelistic purpose. “Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob” held “bond-servants born in their own houses,” but they were The Long Life of Proslavery Religion ■ 143 This content downloaded from 146.244.101.138 on Mon, 12 Oct 2020 16:36:34 UTC All use subject to https://about.jstor.org/terms “redeemed by the same precious blood,” and thus they “sit down together in the kingdom of God.” Abolitionists would have to answer to God for their heresy. But whatever the sins committed by slaveholders, the biblical record showed that holding other humans in bondage brought no judgment. White southerners could have been better masters, even better Christians. But that was in spite of slavery, not because of it.28 Such arguments closely aligned with the southern Methodists’ pastoral letter. In classically paternalistic prose, they called for an ongoing mission to African Americans: “In the change from slaves to freedmen, which has providentially befallen the negroes of the Southern States, our obligations to promote their spiritual welfare have not ceased. We are still debtor to them free, as before to them bond. Under the divine blessing, our church has done a great work for this people.” As these southern Methodists saw it, Christianity—given by whites—had made African Americans properly contented in their condition of servitude. Thus, when the Civil War came, rather than moving toward freedom themselves, the enslaved experienced a “safe though sudden passage from a state of bondage to liberty” that was “accompanied by no violence or tumult on their part.” White Christianity could be thanked for such a docile populace.29 It is worth noting how willfully incorrect these white southern Christians were in interpreting antebellum blacks’ religious claims and aspirations. In the antebellum era, the proslavery gospel depended on missions to the enslaved. Though many southern blacks responded to the Christian message, they overwhelmingly rejected white oversight—whether spiritual or physical. When emancipation came, the mass exodus from biracial southern churches confirmed that these organizations were incapable of sustaining black members without slavery’s coercion. The southern Methodist bishops preferred to see things differently. They contended that African Americans in the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, numbered 240,000 and that the slave missions had proven a successful venture. In reality, southern African Americans were fleeing the MECS. In 1860, southern Methodists had claimed just fewer than 208,000 African American members; by 1866, fewer than 79,000 remained.30 Given southern white believers’ long-standing conflict over “orthodoxy” with abolitionists, it is no surprise that these southern Methodist bishops believed abolitionists were the prime movers behind all that they saw as wrong with the recent American past. Southern whites were “often reviled while prosecuting the evangelization of the colored people, 144 ■ Luke E. Harlow This content downloaded from 146.244.101.138 on Mon, 12 Oct 2020 16:36:34 UTC All use subject to https://about.jstor.org/terms by those who claimed to be their better friends,” but “Southern Methodists have persevered in it—not without blessed results. We might have done more, but we should be thankful to the grace of God, that we have not done less. Our labor has not been in vain in the Lord.” Like that of their southern Presbyterian coreligionists, their commitment to slaveholding showed the depth of their true belief. Southern Methodists had labored in earnest for the faith once delivered to the saints.31 They could not say the same about abolition-minded northern Methodists. These antislavery heretics “have incorporated social dogmas and political tests into their church creeds. They have gone on to impose conditions upon discipleship that Christ did not impose.” Instead of an otherworldly spiritual kingdom that cultivated “personal piety,” the southern bishops argued, northern “pulpits are perverted to agitations and questions” that ensured “political and ecclesiastical discord.” Northerners had long been wayward on the slavery question, and it was a litmus test for all doctrine.32 Such arguments from leading white southern Protestants in 1865 proved continuous with decades of dispute about the slavery question before the war. Those prewar debates were no distant memory. As the three bishops in the MECS asserted in their 1865 pastoral letter, their own denomination’s split of 1844 came because “a large proportion, if not a majority of Northern Methodists [became] incurably radical. . . . They preach another gospel.” Even though they lamented that their division affronted biblical calls for Christian unity, they refused to give up their proslavery position. They required the acknowledgment that the antebellum South’s defense of slavery was biblically correct. 33 Much of their language from 1865 would have been right at home in the antebellum period. And it would continue to carry weight in the decade to come. As they put it, “The abolition, for military and political considerations, of the institution of domestic slavery in the United States does not effect the question that was prominent in our separation [from northern Methodists] in 1844. Nor is this the only difference or the principal one between us and them.” The political theology of slavery shaped the ecclesiastical terrain of the antebellum United States. It would continue to do so after emancipation.34 Even so, northern believers from the Baptist, Methodist, and Presbyterian traditions all hoped that the death of slavery would end the strife between the sections and pave the way for denominational reunion. StartThe Long Life of Proslavery Religion ■ 145 This content downloaded from 146.244.101.138 on Mon, 12 Oct 2020 16:36:34 UTC All use subject to https://about.jstor.org/terms ing at the end of the Civil War, northern Methodists implored their white southern counterparts to let go of their past grievances and reunite the denomination that, prior to 1844, had been America’s largest religious body. As northern Methodist bishops first claimed in June 1865, the end of the Civil War and of American slavery meant that there was no reason to continue with two sectional churches: “The great cause which led to the separation from us . . . has passed away, and we trust the day is not far distant when there shall be but one organization which shall embrace the whole Methodist family of the United States.”35 For the next several years, however, southern Methodists remained steadfast in their rejection of such overtures. The process picked up in May 1869, when two bishops from the northern church, Matthew Simpson and Edmund S. Janes, attended a meeting of southern bishops in St. Louis to consider “the propriety, practicability, and methods of reunion.” Responding on behalf of their southern church, the MECS bishops Holland N. McTyeire and Robert Paine argued that the northern church misunderstood what was at stake in the slavery question: “Slavery was not, in any proper sense, the cause, but the occasion only of [the 1844] separation, the necessity of which we regretted as much as you. But certain principles were developed in relation to the political aspects of that question . . . which we could not accept.” In sum, it was northerners who had erred on slavery, not the white South. In truth, slavery had existed throughout the United States in 1784, the date of the Methodist Episcopal Church’s founding. It furthermore existed widespread throughout American Methodism, with untold numbers of slaveholders in the denomination. As Paine and McTyeire explained to their northern guests in 1869, “That which you are pleased to call, no doubt sincerely thinking it so, ‘the great cause’ of separation, existed in the Church from its organization, and yet for sixty years there was no separation.” From the view of these white southerners, northern Methodist theology had changed. It was thus impossible to consider denomination reunion on such grounds.36 Southern Methodists’ reluctance rested entirely on old disputes over the political theology connected to the slavery question. In 1874, a committee of the General Conference of the MECS flatly summarized the matter at stake in analyzing the 1844 denominational fracture: “The existence of slavery in the southern States furnished an occasion, with its connected questions, fruitful of disturbance; and to this division has been mainly attributed. The position of southern Methodism on that subject was scrip146 ■ Luke E. Harlow This content downloaded from 146.244.101.138 on Mon, 12 Oct 2020 16:36:34 UTC All use subject to https://about.jstor.org/terms tural.” Because northern Methodists refused to acknowledge that white southerners in fact held a monopoly on biblical orthodoxy, a breach in American Methodism—as well as in the United States’ other evangelical Protestant denominations—became inevitable and irreparable. At that late date white Methodists in the South were direct about their views: “Our opinions have undergone no change.” The death of slavery by military force and law had not destroyed these white southerners’ faith: “The causes which led to the division in 1844 . . . have not disappeared. Some of them exist in their original form and force, and others have been modified, but not diminished.”37 Despite the force and clarity of that argument, however, southern Methodists did deem it possible to engage in “fraternal relations.” That is, they participated in a process of mutual recognition of each denomination and in an agreement to labor in harmony rather than discord. After mutual exchanges between the general conferences of northern and southern Methodism, a joint commission convened in Cape May, New Jersey, in August 1876. There, they agreed that both the northern and southern churches were “a legitimate Branch of Episcopal Methodism in the United States, having a common origin in the Methodist Episcopal Church organized in 1784.” Moreover, the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, was affirmed as “an evangelical Church, reared on Scriptural foundations, and her ministers and members, with those of the Methodist Episcopal Church, have constituted one Methodist family, though in distinct ecclesiastical connections.” The meaning of the Cape May declaration was plain for anyone paying attention: white southern Methodism and all that was bound up in that identity—principally the biblical defense of slavery, which they did not apologize for or concede—remained a legitimate form of Christian expression. It was distinct from northern belief, but a true faith all the same.38 This veneer of cooperation masked an underlying and deep hostility that had come to mark religious life throughout the postwar South. Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) leaders were far less explicit than the Methodists in their use of historical disputes over slavery to justify ongoing ecclesiastical independence from their northern counterpart, the American Baptist Home Mission Society. That had something to do with particular matters of church polity. More than any other American denomination, Baptists maintained a rigid commitment to the autonomy of local congregations. Unlike Protestant counterparts in the Episcopal, The Long Life of Proslavery Religion ■ 147 This content downloaded from 146.244.101.138 on Mon, 12 Oct 2020 16:36:34 UTC All use subject to https://about.jstor.org/terms Methodist, or Presbyterian traditions, Baptists constituted more a constellation of likeminded churches than a formal denomination. They had no authoritative body that exercised congregational oversight. For Baptists, Christian identity was an individual matter expressed through the local congregation. Slavery—in fact, all questions of moral and political import—was a matter to be sorted out in local churches, not aired in the context of denominational debate.39 Because of congregational autonomy, Baptists had come together historically for one purpose: to raise funds for missionaries. As white southerners had claimed at the 1845 founding of the Southern Baptist Convention in Augusta, Georgia, “We have constructed for our basis [as the SBC] no new creed; acting in this matter upon a Baptist aversion for all creeds but the Bible.” Although they took for granted that the Bible revealed a proslavery God and a proslavery faith, they wrote that the SBC “Constitution knows no difference between slaveholding and non-slaveholders.” Like southern Methodists, they claimed that northern Baptists had caused the separation when the ABHMS’s General Convention, after more than a decade of pressure from antislavery northern members, ruled in 1844 that no slaveholder could be a missionary. White southerners in turn read that decision as an “[attempt] to eject us.”40 Southern Baptist interpretation of their split from northern Baptists in 1844 and 1845 guided their postwar conduct. Representatives from the ABHMS brought a “Christian greeting” to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Baltimore in 1868, hoping to “>‘work together,’ in relation to a common end” in the “great transition period” that followed the Civil War. Principally, that social change required individuals willing to deal with the “numerous, varied, conflicting, and demoralizing forces” that had been “brought to bear upon the emancipated millions of the Southern States.” Predictably, however, their southern coreligionists gave an icy reply to this overture. While a committee recommended “reciprocat[ing] the expressions of Christian kindness and fraternity” to the ABHMS, the SBC claimed its own white mandate for the religious shape of the South— especially its African American population.41 The new postemancipation world was not the same as the one prior to the Civil War, but those old ways of seeing racial dependency profoundly influenced how these southern whites conceptualized the world the war made. As Southern Baptists argued, freedpeople were “now without adequate guardianship”—presumably the paternalist kind provided by a 148 ■ Luke E. Harlow This content downloaded from 146.244.101.138 on Mon, 12 Oct 2020 16:36:34 UTC All use subject to https://about.jstor.org/terms Christian master class. Southern blacks could therefore not resist “the appeals of passion and the terrors of superstition, and the heartlessness of intrigue, and the imminence of vice and crime.” Despite emancipation, the white Christian role in the South remained the same. The new racial landscape of the postemancipation order could only be explained with reference to the old proslavery faith. What were once missions to the slaves—affirming a proslavery gospel—became paternalistic missions to freedpeople. Given their generations of mastery, these southern whites believed themselves particularly suited for the task. As Southern Baptists had argued in 1866, “it is our decided conviction, from our knowledge of the character of these people, and of the feelings our citizens, that this work must be done mainly by ourselves.” Thus the SBC had little time for northern Baptist overtures. “Two bodies exist; the divisions of history remain,” they argued in 1868. “As we ask no concession of principle, we make none.” Southern Baptists could “thank God” that northerners shared “a common interest with us in one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one hope, one God and Father of all.” But the sectional division would remain unhealed. The legacy of slavery meant that they did not worship in the same church.42 More virulent than southern Methodists or Southern Baptists were southern Presbyterians. Like the Methodists, some Presbyterians had expressed interest in the late 1860s in reconciling the sectional denominations. In 1868 the northern PCUSA’s General Assembly recognized the existence of the southern Presbyterian Church in the United States (PCUS); then in 1869 the PCUSA wrote to the PCUS’s General Assembly in hopes of establishing fraternal relations between the two bodies. But unlike southern Methodists, southern Presbyterians rebuffed these northern overtures in 1870, when their General Assembly, led by three vocal defenders of slavery—Benjamin M. Palmer of New Orleans, Stuart Robinson of Louisville, and Robert L. Dabney of Hampden Sydney, Virginia—overwhelmingly voted against them. Where southern Methodists were willing to entertain fraternal relations with the northern church, southern Presbyterians saw even that move as a sign of doctrinal laxity. The PCUS General Assembly then explained its position in a pastoral letter written by Palmer and sent to the northern Presbyterian denomination. Arguing that during the Civil War the northern church had abrogated its mission to keep the affairs of state separate from the church, the PCUS claimed the reason for the breech had not been resolved.43 The Long Life of Proslavery Religion ■ 149 This content downloaded from 146.244.101.138 on Mon, 12 Oct 2020 16:36:34 UTC All use subject to https://about.jstor.org/terms In a widely circulated compendium that followed, southern Presbyterians documented the history of their denomination since 1861 and clarified the reasons for the separate existence of their church. Among the denomination’s “distinctives” in 1870, slavery played a central role. “The essential principle of slavery is submission or subjection to control by the will of another,” the document argued. “This is an essential element in every form of civil government, also, and in the family relation itself.” In this formulation slavery was “not an institution essential to the social state; and therefore is not of universal obligation.” Thus the contrast existed in what southern Presbyterians argued were foundational aspects of their society: “civil government, as opposed to anarchy” and “marriage” rather than “concubinage, polygamy, and general licentiousness.”44 But if slavery was a second-order institution, it was nonetheless “of divine appointment.” Citing a series of biblical passages from both the Old and New Testaments, these white southerners argued that “in certain conditions of society it has been expressly recognized by God, permitted and appointed.” The point was not an abstract one. In this view, “the circumstances of [slavery] in this country made it right and best that such should be the relation, in general, of the negro to the white population.” Many proslavery ministers had called for a reform of slavery as it existed in America—whether to decry the domestic slave trade that destroyed families, to denounce the prohibition against slave marriage, or to disparage a system that made slave literacy illegal—and saw the failure to do so as a key reason for Confederate defeat in the Civil War. Nevertheless, “the existence of wrong laws and usages connected with [slavery], no more disproves the lawfulness of the relation itself, than such things disprove the lawfulness of marriage or of civil government.” Slavery might have needed reform. But slavery was right all the same.45 In the antebellum context of pro- and antislavery rivalry, such arguments make sense. Yet historians currently lack much understanding of the significance of proslavery thought after emancipation—despite fine work by a growing number of scholars who have explained the religious world of the postwar South. Commonly, religious histories of the period begin or end with 1861 or 1865, which implicitly suggests that the Civil War fully determined the fate of the slavery question. To be sure, U.S. military victory ended the legal fight over the status of American slavery. But the religious battle had not ended for white believers in the South. To the contrary, for white southern Christians, the primary doctrinal questions 150 ■ Luke E. Harlow This content downloaded from 146.244.101.138 on Mon, 12 Oct 2020 16:36:34 UTC All use subject to https://about.jstor.org/terms at stake in the conflict had not been satisfactorily resolved and would not be well into the twentieth century—and in some cases not at all.46 For biblical literalists, especially those in the American South, the Civil War thus constituted an ironic blessing to their faith. They continued to read the Bible through the frame of commonsense literalism, but without its most unsavory aspect from the perspective of emerging liberal democracy: slaveholding. The death of slavery gave biblical literalism a new lease on life, and a way of defending not simply the so-called southern way of life—slaveholding—as it had existed after the war. Shorn of slavery, biblical literalism was not simplistically backward looking. Rather, it remained the hermeneutic that gave shape and meaning to the white South’s postwar order. But the end of slavery also made literal interpretations more palatable throughout all of America moving forward. In this way, the proslavery reading of Holy Scripture metastasized well beyond the South, drawing in solidarity all religious conservatives who hoped to stand against social change. Reconciliation, a concept so familiar to our historical notions of what came after the Civil War as a way of excluding African Americans from the American political project as whites understood it, could only happen religiously on terms dictated by white southerners. As antislavery Christians were becoming protoliberals, the white South paved the way for the national movement that would be called fundamentalism. Often portrayed as a northern and western movement, historians have generally understated or ignored the significance of the Civil War in the making of fundamentalism. But it is impossible to imagine the fundamentalistmodernist controversy of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries without reference to slavery and emancipation. At bottom, fundamentalists read the Bible like the proslavery Christians of an earlier generation.47 For many decades to come, white southerners used their biblicism— deeply influenced by the debates of the Civil War and Reconstruction eras—to forestall any efforts at denominational reunion. While the Methodists achieved tepid fraternal relations—with language dictated by southern whites—in 1876, a true rejoining of the northern and southern branches of Methodism did not occur until 1939, and only then in a Jim Crow America that preserved segregated church structures. Presbyterians agreed to their own version of fraternal relations in 1882, though it required no concession of southern distinctiveness on the theology of slavery. Their denominational reunion did not come for a century, in The Long Life of Proslavery Religion ■ 151 This content downloaded from 146.244.101.138 on Mon, 12 Oct 2020 16:36:34 UTC All use subject to https://about.jstor.org/terms 1983—and then only after a significant number of biblicist theological conservatives, in large part white southerners, chose in 1973 to found an alternate polity called the Presbyterian Church in America. For Southern Baptists, who continued to lean on the belief of congregational autonomy, some cooperative work occurred with ABHMS organizations at the local level in the late nineteenth century. But nothing resembling fraternal relations existed, and no denominational reunion ever happened.48 As Protestantism proved central to the making of the antebellum Bible Belt, so it was also constitutive for the postwar Solid South. Thus white Protestants cleared an intellectual and religious path for the emergence of the region’s post-Reconstruction political order, where the term “redemption” connoted as much politically as it did religiously. It was built on a white conservative Democratic bloc, opposed to civil rights for African Americans and averse to overtures from northern religious and political agents—unless such overtures came on white southern terms. These were all staples of the slavery debates that informed churches before, during, and after the Civil War. In historical perspective, we fail to understand many white southerners if we fail to see that, from their vantage point, to give up on slavery seemed tantamount to giving up on the Christian God; and they were not about to do that.49 NOTES 1. The literature on the church splits, as well as on proslavery Christianity and the making of Confederate identity is vast, but for representative examples, see C. C. Goen, Broken Churches, Broken Nation: Denominational Schisms and the Coming of the American Civil War (Macon, Ga.: Mercer University Press, 1985); Drew Gilpin Faust, The Creation of Confederate Nationalism: Ideology and Identity in the Civil War South (Baton Rogue: Louisiana State University Press, 1988), 22–40; Mitchell Snay, Gospel of Disunion: Religion and Separatism in the Antebellum South (1993; Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1997); Eugene D. Genovese, A Consuming Fire: The Fall of the Confederacy in the Mind of the White Christian South (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1998); Elizabeth Fox-Genovese and Eugene D. Genovese, The Mind of the Master Class: History and Faith in the Southern Slaveholders’ Worldview (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2005); and Mark A. Noll, The Civil War as a Theological Crisis (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2006). 2. The Distinctive Principles of the Presbyterian Church in the United States, Commonly Called the Southern Presbyterian Church, as Set Forth in the Formal Declarations, and Illustrated by Extracts from Proceedings of the General Assembly, from 1861–70 (Richmond, Va.: Presbyterian Committee of Publication, [1871]), 131–32. 3. Ibid., 132–33. 152 ■ Luke E. Harlow This content downloaded from 146.244.101.138 on Mon, 12 Oct 2020 16:36:34 UTC All use subject to https://about.jstor.org/terms 4. On white missionaries and African American churches as targets of white terrorist violence, see Edward J. Blum, Reforging the White Republic: Race, Religion, and American Nationalism, 1865–1898 (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2005), 76–82; and Margaret M. Storey, “The Crucible of Reconstruction: Unionists and the Struggle for Alabama’s Postwar Homefront,” in The Great Task Remaining before Us: Reconstruction as America’s Continuing Civil War, ed. Paul A. Cimbala and Randall M. Miller (New York: Fordham University Press, 2010), 84–86. 5. On overall evangelical adherence and political influence, see Richard Carwardine, Evangelicals and Politics in Antebellum America (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1993). Churches—especially evangelical Protestant churches—were arguably the most prominent social, cultural, political, and intellectual institutions in the nineteenth-century white South. In 1860, in the states that comprised the future Confederacy plus Kentucky, churches held seating capacity for just under 100 percent of the free population (97.7 percent). South Carolina (149.8 percent), Georgia (128.4 percent), Mississippi (125.7 percent), North Carolina (122.7 percent), and Alabama (104 percent) all had church seating for more than the state’s entire free population. In 1870, the numbers are more complicated to interpret. In general, the census’s basic accounting was deeply flawed, and in the South especially it showed far fewer African Americans—in places 20 to 30 percent fewer—than lived there at the time. Moreover, the postemancipation boom of autonomous black churches is not shown on the census, nor does it account for the minority of northern “missionary” churches in the South (only broad denominations are given), nor is there a clear accounting for churches destroyed by the Civil War. Given those significant limitations, the 1870 numbers are still revealing. Overall, churches held seating capacity for 94.6 percent of the white population. South Carolina (169.7 percent), Mississippi (126.8 percent), Georgia (125.4 percent), Virginia (107.4 percent), and North Carolina (105.9 percent) all had church space for more whites than lived in the state, though, as in the antebellum period, those numbers were inflated by locales that had large churchgoing populations of African Americans. Numbers taken from the 1860 and 1870 U.S. census, Historical Census Browser, University of Virginia, Geospatial and Statistical Data Center, http://mapserver.lib.virginia.edu/index.html. On the flaws in the 1870 census, see Richard Reid, “The 1870 United States Census and Black Underenumeration: A Test Case from North Carolina,” Historie Sociale/Social History 28 (November 1995): 487–99. These numbers are significantly higher than indicated by the period’s church membership records. Membership numbers are suggestive, but they vastly undercount the number of religious adherents in nineteenth-century America. Because of relatively restrictive membership standards, most churches saw many more regular church attendees—perhaps double or triple the number—than actual members. (The nineteenth century was roughly the reverse of the twentieth century on this issue, as membership standards and regular attendance grew more relaxed.) As a result, ascertaining the actual number of Christian adherents in the period is highly imprecise. Most careful historians of American religion tend to rely on the U.S. census tally of church accommodations but currently lack effective ways of determining just The Long Life of Proslavery Religion ■ 153 This content downloaded from 146.244.101.138 on Mon, 12 Oct 2020 16:36:34 UTC All use subject to https://about.jstor.org/terms how many people considered themselves active faith practitioners in the period. See George C. Rable, God’s Almost Chosen Peoples: A Religious History of the American Civil War (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2010), 11–12. For an elucidation of this problem as it applies to antebellum Virginia, see Charles F. Irons, The Origins of Proslavery Christianity: White and Black Evangelicals in Colonial and Antebellum Virginia (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2008), 3–10. 6. Notable counterexamples include Daniel Stowell, Rebuilding Zion: The Religious Reconstruction of the South, 1863–1877 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1998); and Blum, Reforging the White Republic. For examples of the most significant works on freedpeople’s religion, see Katherine L. Dvorak, An African-American Exodus: The Segregation of the Southern Churches (New York: Carlson, 1991); William E. Montgomery, Under Their Own Vine and Fig Tree: The African-American Church in the South (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1993); and Reginald F. Hildebrand, The Times Were Strange and Stirring: Methodist Preachers and the Crisis of Emancipation (Durham: Duke University Press, 1995). 7. For a classic perspective on the continuity of southern white supremacy before, during, and after the war, see John Hope Franklin, Reconstruction after the Civil War (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1961), 152–73, quotes 152, 154. See also W. E. B. Du Bois, Black Reconstruction in America, 1860–1880 (1935; New York: Free Press, 1992), 670–710. Works that suggest that the counterrevolution came later do not necessarily agree about the causes for or ends sought by white southerners opposed to Reconstruction. See William Archibald Dunning, Reconstruction, Political and Economic, 1865–1877 (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1907), 121–23; George Rable, But There Was No Peace: The Role of Violence in the Politics of Reconstruction (1984; Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2007); Eric Foner, Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Revolution, 1863–1877 (New York: Harper and Row, 1988), 412–59; and Adam Fairclough, “Was the Grant of Black Suffrage a Political Error? Reconsidering the Views of John W. Burgess, William A. Dunning, and Eric Foner on Congressional Reconstruction,” Journal of the Historical Society 12 (June 2012): 155–88. For a survey of this literature that sides with Du Bois and Franklin, see Michael Perman, “Counter Reconstruction: The Role of Violence in Southern Redemption,” in The Facts of Reconstruction: Essays in Honor of John Hope Franklin, ed. Eric Anderson and Alfred A. Moss Jr. (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1991), 121–40. 8. See Mark A. Noll, America’s God: From Jonathan Edwards to Abraham Lincoln (New York: Oxford University Press, 2002), 367–401. This and subsequent paragraphs first appeared and are elaborated on in Luke E. Harlow, Religion, Race, and the Making of Confederate Kentucky, 1830–1880 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2014), used with permission. 9. On nineteenth-century methods of biblical interpretation and the slavery question, see Noll, America’s God, 367–401. On antislavery and the origins of Protestant liberalism, see Molly Oshatz, Slavery and Sin: The Fight against Slavery and the Rise of Liberal Protestantism (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011). 10. Noll, The Civil War as a Theological Crisis, 31–50; and Noll, America’s God, 386– 401. See also J. Albert Harrill, “The Use of the New Testament in the American Slave 154 ■ Luke E. Harlow This content downloaded from 146.244.101.138 on Mon, 12 Oct 2020 16:36:34 UTC All use subject to https://about.jstor.org/terms Controversy: A Case History in the Hermeneutical Tension between Biblical Criticism and Christian Moral Debate,” Religion and American Culture 10 (Summer 2000): 149–86; and E. Brooks Holifield, Theology in America: Christian Thought from the Age of the Puritans to the Civil War (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2003), 494–504. 11. See Timothy L. Wesley, The Politics of Faith during the Civil War (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2013), 78–80; and James H. Moorhead, American Apocalypse: Yankee Protestants and the Civil War (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1978). 12. Provisional and Permanent Constitutions, Together with the Acts and Resolutions of the Three Sessions of the Provisional Congress of the Confederate States (Richmond, Va.: Tyler, Wise, Allegre, and Smith, 1861), 3. See Snay, Gospel of Disunion; and Harry S. Stout, Upon the Altar of the Nation: A Moral History of the Civil War (New York: Viking, 2006), 47–52. 13. Much historiographic debate has surrounded the “spirituality of the church” doctrine, its sources, and its legacy. Jack Maddex, “From Theocracy to Spirituality: The Southern Presbyterian Reversal on Church and State,” Journal of Presbyterian History 54 (Winter 1976): 438–57, has argued that the Presbyterian idea of the church’s “spirituality” was a particular postbellum innovation, but other historians tend to disagree in varying ways. Several historians contend that the Civil War–era doctrine drew from historic roots in colonial America. For example, see Preston D. Graham Jr., A Kingdom Not of This World: Stuart Robinson’s Struggle to Distinguish the Sacred from the Secular During the Civil War (Macon, Ga.: Mercer University Press, 2002), 169–73; James Oscar Farmer Jr., The Metaphysical Confederacy: James Henley Thornwell and the Synthesis of Southern Values (Macon, Ga.: Mercer University Press, 1986), 256–60; and John B. Boles, The Irony of Southern Religion (New York: Peter Lang, 1994). For the most recent and cogent explanation for the complex series of ecclesiological negotiations that led white southern evangelicals to arrive at the “spirituality of the church” stance in the postrevolutionary era, see Irons, Origins of Proslavery Christianity, 55–96. See also Wesley, Politics of Faith, 103–4. The biblical quote from Jesus of Nazareth is from John 18:36. 14. James Henley Thornwell, “The Christian Doctrine of Slavery,” in The Collected Writings of James Henley Thornwell, 4 vols., ed. John B. Adger and John L. Girardeau (1873; Carlisle, Pa.: Banner of Truth, 1974), 4:405–6. 15. On the transformation of a historically apolitical southern religion to politicization on slavery and the sectional crisis, see Boles, Irony of Southern Religion, 75–89. Analyzing the emergence of religious Confederate rituals in Richmond, Virginia, Harry Stout and Christopher Grasso compellingly explain the transformation in white southern church-state ideas: “Wh...
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OPTION A: ANTI-SEMITISM

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OPTION A: ANTI-SEMITISM

Discuss the origins of anti-Jewish beliefs and actions and how they changed and expanded
over time.

The anti-Jewish beliefs started centuries ago and originally started with the Ancient
Roman Empire and Ancient Greek. The anti-Jewish beliefs and religion were strongly opposed
by roman empires who claimed the worshipping of their gods and all other religions to convert
and worship those gods. An example during the most ancient times was Tiberius, who tried to
bring all worshippers to worship one god. However, the Jewish community rebelled,...


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