"This book's in-depth look at women and domestic devotion makes a valuable contribution to the study of women's history and southern religion. . . . The work accomplishes multiple tasks while remaining accessible and interesting."
—Journal of Southern Religion
“Stephan’s book is an intriguing study of southern evangelical women and their unrelenting efforts to ensure that faith and grace defined their own and their families’ lives. . . . Stephan has produced a thoughtful, informative examination of a group of southern wives and mothers who yearned to lead lives free of sin and to ensure, albeit with mixed results, that their husbands and children did the same. In Redeeming the Southern Family, Stephan adds a fresh new voice to the many historians who sense the profound contribution of white women to a religious South.”
“Stephan has provided an excellent look into the spiritual responsibility and ownership of the home assumed by evangelical women of the antebellum South. Scholars would do well to follow Stephan’s example in attempting to re-create the actual religiosity of the individuals he examined. Anyone interested in the spiritual undercurrents of daily life in the antebellum evangelical South would benefit greatly from reading Scott Stephan’s contribution.”
—Journal of the Early Republic
“In Redeeming the Southern Family, Scott Stephan offers an intimate portrayal of the ways in which women took on these spiritual challenges. Stephan, with his focus on domestic devotion, helps to explain why so many white Southern women frequented congregations in which the male leadership preached about the importance of retaining racial and gender hierarchies. In this way, he contributes to the flowering of scholarship in response to Ann Braude’s insistence that in order ‘to understand the history of religion in America,’ where most adherents across traditions have historically been female, ‘one must ask what made each [religious] group’s teachings and practices meaningful to its female members.’”
—Reviews in American History
"Stephan’s graceful writing style and deep research in particular case studies enable him to present the ways in which women’s religious authority enhanced yet also complicated their family relationships and their lives. This book is an important contribution and among the first to focus solely on evangelical women across denominational lines."
—Cynthia A. Kierner, author of Beyond the Household: Women’s Place in the Early South, 1700–1835
“Stephan's book represents an important contribution to our understanding of southern evangelical women's religious lives. Like the other historians who have studied domestic religion, such as Colleen McDannell, Stephan reminds us that the home as well as the church has served as a crucial locus of religious meaning.”
—Journal of the Civil War Era
"This freshly researched and well-written book offers a nuanced interpretation of the ways in which evangelicalism both empowered and constrained elite white women in the Old South."
—Anya Jabour, author of Scarlett's Sisters: Young Women in the Old South
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