Southern Civil Religions
Imagining the Good Society in the Post-Reconstruction Era

Arthur Remillard

Revealing the many voices of southern civil religion

Reviews

"By focusing on a diverse set of characters, in a relatively understudied sub-region, through the lens of people talking about a 'good society,' and using a number of vivid examples, this book makes a significant contribution to post-Civil War southern history."
—Paul Harvey, author of Freedom's Coming: Religious Culture and the Shaping of the South from the Civil War through the Civil Rights Era

"An exciting, revisionist study that is clear in argument. Anyone wanting to understand how a variety of people in the South have understood its spiritual and moral meanings will like this book."
—Charles Reagan Wilson, author of Baptized in Blood: The Religion of the Lost Cause, 1865-1920


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Description

In the aftermath of the Civil War, the Lost Cause gave white southerners a new collective identity anchored in the stories, symbols, and rituals of the defeated Confederacy. Historians have used the idea of civil religion to explain how this powerful memory gave the white South a unique sense of national meaning, purpose, and destiny. The civil religious perspectives of everyone else, meanwhile, have gone unnoticed.

Arthur Remillard fills this void by investigating the civil religious dis­courses of a wide array of people and groups—blacks and whites, men and women, northerners and southerners, Democrats and Republicans, as well as Catholics, Protestants, and Jews. Focusing on the Wiregrass Gulf South region—an area covering north Florida, southwest Georgia, and southeast Alabama—Remillard argues that the Lost Cause was but one civil religious topic among many. Even within the white majority, civil religious language influenced a range of issues, such as progress, race, gender, and religious tolerance. Moreover, minority groups developed sacred values and beliefs that competed for space in the civil religious landscape.

Series/imprint:
The New Southern Studies

Page count: 248 pp.
Trim size: 6 x 9

 

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Hardcover
List price: $69.95
978-0-8203-3685-5
12/1/2011
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Paper
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978-0-8203-4139-2
12/1/2011
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978-0-8203-4133-0
12/1/2011
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Arthur Remillard is an assistant professor of religious studies at Saint Francis University. He has served as the managing editor and book review editor for the Journal of Southern Religion since 2002.