Term of Award

Spring 2006

Degree Name

Master of Arts in History (M.A.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Department

Department of History

Committee Chair

Anastatia Sims

Committee Member 1

Alan Downs

Committee Member 2

Craig Roell

Abstract

By the late 1840's, the South's religious and political convictions upheld slaveholders' social and economic views. These convictions permeated worship services in Georgia via the ministries. At the onset of the Civil War, spirituality provided an essential source of Southern strength in both victory and defeat. As fortitude subsided, religion also played a prodigious role in perpetuating the Confederate experience. For a generation, its theology had endorsed the South's social arrangement, asserted the morality of slavery, expunged Southern sins, and recruited the populace as God's devout guardians of the institution. Sustained by the belief that they were God's chosen people, Southerners rallied to the Confederate cause. Assserting great influence as the presiding Episcopal bishop of the Confederacy, the Right Reverent Steven Elliott, Jr., aggressively participated in contriving a religious culture that discerned threats to Southern society as challenges to Christian civilization.

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