Religion in the American South

Essential books

Religion in the Old South, by Donald G. Mathews. Mathews’s 1977 classic is a relatively short synthetic analysis that clearly, profoundly, and theologically explores the meaning of Christianity in the slave society of the old South.

Slave Religion: The “Invisible Institution” in the Antebellum South, by Albert J. Raboteau. Addressing themes ranging from African religions to the “middle passage for the Gods,” from the rise of slave forms of Christianity to the role of religion in slave rebellion and resistance, this masterful work retains its preeminent status as the first book to read to survey the meaning of religion for African slaves in the United States. The restrained elegance of the prose accentuates the profound importance of the subject.


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