By Mitchell Snay
Gospel of Disunion examines the ways that faith encouraged the improvement of a particular Southern tradition and politics ahead of the Civil struggle, translating the secessionist circulate right into a fight of the top ethical importance. It explores such themes because the non secular pro-slavery argument and the slaveholding ethic for Christian masters, the denominational schisms of the 1830s and 1840s that divided Southern Protestants alongside sectional strains, and the targeted non secular intent for secession. This publication is the 1st significant try to absolutely discover the connection among faith and the origins of Southern nationalism in most of these manifestations.
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Additional info for Gospel of Disunion: Religion and Separatism in the Antebellum South
Both John Wesley, the founder of Methodism in England, and Francis Asbury, the key leader in American Methodism, were strongly opposed to slavery. The organizing conference of American Methodism in 1784 enacted legislation disapproving of slavery. In 1785, Virginia Methodists petitioned the General Assembly for the emancipation of slaves. The quick and hos11. Michael Anesko, "So Discreet a Zeal: Slavery and the Anglican Church in Virginia, 1680-1730," Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 93 (July 1985): 252; Butler, "Enlarging the Bonds of Christ," pp.
274. See also the important discussion in Butler, "Enlarging the Bonds of Christ," pp. 97-108. 26 Religion and sectional politics tile response they encountered - even among Methodists - demonstrates the limits of antislavery potential in the Southern churches. Thomas Coke, an English Methodist touring Virginia in 1785, wrote that his opposition to slavery "provoked many of the unawakened to retire out the barn . . and to combine together to flog [me] . . " Counterpetitions by proslavery Methodists, arguing that slavery was authorized in the Bible and stressing the dangers of manumission, quickly circulated.
Their response was widespread and indignant. Presbyterian synods, Baptist associations, and Methodist conferences passed resolutions condemning abolitionist agitation. "23 The secular press applauded these religious denunciations of abolitionism. " The Western Carolinian voiced its pleasure with the antiabolitionist resolution passed by the Synod of North Carolina. " This gratitude contained the hope that religion would be a strong defense against Northern aggression. " Denominational bodies endorsed this view.
Gospel of Disunion: Religion and Separatism in the Antebellum South by Mitchell Snay