Comprising essays written by former students of Donald G. Mathews, a distinguished historian of religion in the South, Varieties of Southern Religious History offers rich insight into the social and cultural history of the United States. Fifteen essays, edited by Regina D. Sullivan and Monte Harrell Hampton, offer fresh and insightful interpretations in the fields of U. S. religious history, women's history, and African American history from the colonial era to the twentieth century. Emerging scholars as well as established authors examine a range of topics on the cultural and social history of the South and the religious history of the United States. Essays on new topics include a consideration of Kentucky Presbyterians and their reaction to the rising pluralism of the early nineteenth century. Gerald Wilson offers an analysis of anti-Catholic bias in North Carolina during the twentieth century, and Mary Frederickson examines the rhetoric of death in contemporary correspondence. There are also reinterpretations of subjects such as late-eighteenth-century Ohio Valley missionaries Lorenzo and Peggy Dow, a recontextualization of Millerism, and new scholarship on the appeal of spiritualism in the South. Historians of U.S. women examine how individuals struggled with gender conventions in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Robert Martin and Cheryl Junk, touching on how women struggled with the gender convictions, discuss Anne Wittenmyer and Frances Bumpass, respectively, demonstrating how religious ideology both provided space for these women to move into new roles and yet limited their activities to specific realms. Emily Bingham offers a study of how her forebear Henrietta Bingham challenged gender roles in the early twentieth century. Historians of African American history offer provocative revisions of key topics. Larry Tise explores the complex religious, social, and political issues faced by late-eighteenth-century slaveholding Quakers. Monte Hampton traces the transition of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Fayetteville, North Carolina, from a biracial congregation to an all-black church by 1835. Wayne Durrill and Thomas Mainwaring present reinterpretations of well-studied subjects: the Nat Turner rebellion and the Underground Railroad. This collection provides fresh insight into a variety of topics in honor of Donald G. Mathews and his legacy as a scholar of southern religion.
Varieties of Southern Religious History was published by University of South Carolina Press in March 2015. The ISBN for Varieties of Southern Religious History is 9781611174885.