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Religions 2017, 8(9), 180; doi:10.3390/rel8090180

“The Necessary Result of Piety”: Slavery and Religious Establishments in South Carolina Presbyterianism, 1800–1840

Department of Government, History, and Criminal Justice, Regent University, Virginia Beach, VA 23464, USA
Received: 19 August 2017 / Revised: 30 August 2017 / Accepted: 1 September 2017 / Published: 4 September 2017
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Historians have argued that disestablishment liberated American religion and allowed for the proliferation of religious practice and religious freedom, especially individualistic Evangelicalism in the South. This proposition reduced nearly all of southern Protestantism to Revivalist Evangelicalism, and failed to account for the powerful presence of coercive Protestant religiosity in older southern states such as South Carolina. While they shared certain Evangelical particulars with frontier populations, Protestants in South Carolina, especially Presbyterians, rejected individualized religion in favor of religiosity that favored and nurtured activist state protection of both antidemocratic political norms and chattel slavery. This essay argues that ostensibly disestablished Presbyterianism in South Carolina helped intellectually erect and socially perpetuate coercive religious and state power. View Full-Text
Keywords: slavery; Presbyterian; South Carolina; establishment; church; authority slavery; Presbyterian; South Carolina; establishment; church; authority
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Smith, M. “The Necessary Result of Piety”: Slavery and Religious Establishments in South Carolina Presbyterianism, 1800–1840. Religions 2017, 8, 180.

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