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Religions 2012, 3(2), 357-368; doi:10.3390/rel3020357

New Light on a Lost Cause: Atticus G. Haygood’s Universalizing Spirituality

Department of Philosophy & Religious Studies, Radford University, Radford, VA 24141, USA
Received: 12 March 2012 / Revised: 1 April 2012 / Accepted: 13 April 2012 / Published: 26 April 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Spiritual Exemplars)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [267 KB, uploaded 26 April 2012]


The American tragedy of slavery and the Civil War provides the backdrop for the exemplary spirituality of Atticus Haygood (1839–1896). The son of a Georgia slaveholder, Haygood served as a chaplain in the Confederate army. At the War’s end, he returned to Atlanta to suffer poverty and humiliation under the martial law of conquerors. His spirituality developed as a positive response to the chaos of Reconstruction. Following a mid-life transformation, he earned a national reputation as a progressive Southerner and crusader for the rights and education of former slaves. As a Southern Methodist clergyman, Haygood blended the ideals of evangelism and the social gospel, envisioning an America in which Northerners and Southerners, blacks and whites joined together to build the Kingdom of God. His spirituality evolved to the “universalizing” pinnacle of James Fowler’s stages of faith, a perspective from which all persons—regardless of race, status, and place of birth—participate as equals in fellowship with a just and loving deity. View Full-Text
Keywords: American Civil War; evangelical; reconstruction; social gospel; Southern Methodist American Civil War; evangelical; reconstruction; social gospel; Southern Methodist
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Kwilecki, S. New Light on a Lost Cause: Atticus G. Haygood’s Universalizing Spirituality. Religions 2012, 3, 357-368.

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