Brian 's Reviews > Evangelizing the South: A Social History of Church and State in Early America

Evangelizing the South by Monica Najar
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's review
May 31, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: american-history-early-republic, american-history-colonial
Read from May 31 to June 29, 2012

Monica Najar provides a very interesting look at how the Baptist Church shaped life in early America in her book Evangelizing the South. Although the south is often thought of as the Bible Belt it was not always the case and the revival of religion began to occur in the late 1700’s and early 1800’s. This book focuses in on Virginia and North Carolina as its main area. Najar uses church logs and records as the basis for her analysis and comes to conclusions about the inclusive nature of the Baptists that provided a place for women and slaves to congregate and receive recognition. The church served as an informal court rendering judgment and in the case of widows granting them select property rights. The Baptists spread throughout the rural areas often preaching from the open air of a field or a barn instead of a traditional church vastly increasing their membership. This blend between religious and civil service made the Baptists desirable in a society and contributed to their widespread success. This book provides an excellent view as to how the religious culture of the South was shaped and what came about from the early developments of the Baptists. A very easy to follow read and well worth the time for those interested in early American history.

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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Mary (new)

Mary Najar??? No way! How is it?

Brian So far really interesting. I was not sure what to expect when I started reading it but she keeps it interesting focusing on the class between the Baptastis and the other religious factions in Virginia during the revolution into the early 1800's. She seems to then be heading into how that impacted societal roles. So far pretty good though.

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