Religion and Slavery in the South, 1740-1800
Teal, Juliana Marie
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Chapter 1 of this study gives an overview of the Great Awakening in the American South. It describes the impact of the Great Awakening upon the church denominations of the day. It reviews the importance of the Great Awakening on itinerant ministers and their views on slavery. The eagerness of the itinerant ministers to convert slaves to Christianity was displayed in their energetic, charismatic, revivalist approach. There was concern for the treatment of slaves. Chapter 2 demonstrates the clergy's support for slavery prior to the Revolution. It demonstrates the biblical justification for slavery, the idea of patriarch ism, and the perceived economic benefits of slavery. Chapter 3 seeks to show the importance of the Revolution on the ministers' views on slavery. During and shortly after the Revolution, the revivalist itinerant clergy increasingly denounced the institution of slavery. This chapter seeks to demonstrate the effect of societal views on the clergy and vice-versa. The Revolutionary ideology influenced the clergies' views on slavery. The political activity of the ministers had a significant effect on society. Chapter 4 portrays the post-Revolution era's views on slavery. The Presbyterians, Baptists, and Methodists denounced slavery. The Episcopal Church did not take the same stance, in part due to the economic benefits of slavery to a large number of its members. The final chapter, Chapter 5, explains the retreat from their antislavery stance by the Presbyterian, Baptist, and Methodist denominations. Significant membership support for slavery made a formal antislavery stance untenable. Some clergy still held firm in their antislavery stances.