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Diverging Loyalties: Baptists in Middle Georgia during the Civil War
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Diverging Loyalties: Baptists in Middle Georgia during the Civil War (Hardback)

£35.50
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Synopsis

Baptists in the South, rapidly rising to challenge Methodists numerically, helped align Southern religion with the South's black slave culture. The birth of the Southern Baptist Convention in 1845, formed in order to preserve God's will for the African race, signaled the inevitability of war. Middle Georgia remained outside the front lines of the war, the region's relative intactness allowing for the continuation of church life during the war years. While many white Baptists from Middle Georgia marched off to war - whether to fight or to serve as chaplains or army missionaries - others stayed behind and voiced their thoughts from pulpits, in associational meetings, and in the pages of newspapers and journals. While historians have often portrayed white southern Baptists, with few exceptions, as firmly supportive of the Confederacy, the experience of Middle Georgia Baptists is much more dynamic. Far from being monolithic, Baptists at the local church and associational level responded in a myriad of ways to the Confederacy. Patterns locally and associationally emerged and evolved as the war progressed, while differences between Southern and Primitive Baptists stood out. On a personal level, white Baptists' views of slavery and the Confederacy proved to be varied, numerous, nuanced, and dynamic - to such an extent that some individuals were unable to construct a consistent narrative as the war progressed. For their part, black Baptists struggled to shape their own destinies within a white man's world, strivings that grew more intense as the war progressed and freedom seemed within reach. The end of the war signaled new realities for both white and black Baptists of the South. For whites, old loyalties had been rearranged and the immediate future was bleak. At the same time, black Baptists emerged empowered as never before and set forth on the path of self-determination.

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