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God's Fields: Landscape, Religion, and Race in Moravian Wachovia

God's Fields: Landscape, Religion, and Race in Moravian Wachovia (Hardback)

£77.50
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Synopsis

The Moravian community of Salem, North Carolina, was founded in 1766, and the town-the hub of nearly 100,000 piedmont acres purchased thirteen years before and named "Wachovia"-quickly became the focal point for the church's colonial presence in the South. While the brethren preached the unity of all humans under God, a careful analysis of the birth and growth of their Salem settlement reveals that the group gradually embraced the institutions of slavery and racial segregation in opposition to their religious beliefs. Although Salem's still-active community includes one of the oldest African American congregations in the nation, the evidence contained in God's Fields reveals that during much of the twentieth century, the church's segregationist past was intentionally concealed. Leland Ferguson's work reconstructing this "secret history" through years of archaeological fieldwork was part of a historical preservation program that helped convince the Moravian Church in North America to formally apologise in 2006 for its participation in slavery and clear a way for racial reconciliation.

Leland Ferguson is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of anthropology at the University of South Carolina. He is the author of Uncommon Ground: Archaeology and Colonial African America, 1650-1800, a recipient of the Southern Anthropological Society's James Mooney Award.

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