Southern Civil Religions: Imagining the Good Society in the Post-Reconstruction Era by Arthur RemillardSouthern Civil Religions: Imagining the Good Society in the Post-Reconstruction Era by Arthur Remillard

Southern Civil Religions: Imagining the Good Society in the Post-Reconstruction Era

byArthur Remillard

Paperback | December 1, 2011

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In the aftermath of the Civil War, the Lost Cause gave white southerners a new collective identity anchored in the stories, symbols, and rituals of the defeated Confederacy. Historians have used the idea of civil religion to explain how this powerful memory gave the white South a unique sense of national meaning, purpose, and destiny. The civil religious perspectives of everyone else, meanwhile, have gone unnoticed.

Arthur Remillard fills this void by investigating the civil religious dis­courses of a wide array of people and groups-blacks and whites, men and women, northerners and southerners, Democrats and Republicans, as well as Catholics, Protestants, and Jews. Focusing on the Wiregrass Gulf South region-an area covering north Florida, southwest Georgia, and southeast Alabama-Remillard argues that the Lost Cause was but one civil religious topic among many. Even within the white majority, civil religious language influenced a range of issues, such as progress, race, gender, and religious tolerance. Moreover, minority groups developed sacred values and beliefs that competed for space in the civil religious landscape.

ARTHUR REMILLARD is an assistant professor of religious studies at Saint Francis University. He has served as the managing editor and book review editor for the Journal of Southern Religion. JON SMITH is an associate professor of English at Simon Fraser University. He is coeditor of Look Away! The U.S. South in New World Studies and ...
Title:Southern Civil Religions: Imagining the Good Society in the Post-Reconstruction EraFormat:PaperbackDimensions:248 pages, 9 × 6 × 14 inPublished:December 1, 2011Publisher:University of Georgia PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0820341398

ISBN - 13:9780820341392

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Table of Contents


Introduction. Competing Visions of the Good Society
One. Progressive Voices, Traditional Voices: Reconstruction, Redemption, and the "Gospel of Material Progress"
Two. Black Voices, White Voices: The Race Problem as a Place Problem
Three. Female Voices, Male Voices: Devotion and the "Noble Daughters of the South"
Four. Jewish Voices, Gentile Voices: "The Soul of America Is the Soul of the Bible"
Five. Catholic Voices, Nativist Voices: True and Untrue Americans
Afterword. What If?

Appendix. Population Data for the South and Wiregrass Region

Editorial Reviews

This portrayal of the New South is humane and affirming, clear-eyed and yet refusing cynicism. In Remillard's hands, civil religion becomes not a smothering uniformity but a vocabulary in which people of all backgrounds, even in the repressive South, claimed a place for their vision of a just America. This book is itself an example of the benefits of a broader and more inclusive vision of what civil religion might mean. - Edward L. Ayers - Journal of Southern Religion