I have finished reading another book for this summer's reading challenge, and like the previous review, the book I read was also on the reading list for my fall history classes. And like the previous book, this book is a social history of Early American history, but it focuses on the south only.
Southern Cross: The Beginnings of the Bible Belt by Christine Leigh Heyrman (Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press, 1997), focuses on the early Evangelical churches in the Southern United States and how the South became to be the center of Evangelical Christianity in the U.S. The time period of the book stretches from 1740 to 1840, but the primary focus of the book is on the years between 1790 and 1830. The Evangelical churches explored in this book are the Methodist, Baptist and Presbyterian churches, but most of the book focuses only on the Methodists and Baptists. For me, the most interesting thing to learn about was that prior to the American Revolution, the Evangelical churches were rejected by Southerners, and thus, the author's exploration into why that was so, was the most interesting part of the book for me. As for the later and greater acceptance of the Evangelical churches. Although, I disagreed with some of the author's conclusions in the epilogue, I would still recommend this book for others to read as I found it to be quite interesting, so much so, that I would like to read about the Evangelical movement occurring in the Northern part of America in the same time period. I hope that other people will find this book as interesting as I did. Enjoy!
Indiana Genealogical Society blog
9 years ago