By Richard Rankin
Richard Rankin probes the spiritual, highbrow, and social lives of North Carolina's antebellum elite to reveal the dramatic impression of spiritual revival within the first 1/2 the 19th century. Rankin makes use of relations letters and church documents to rfile an embody of evangelism's emotionalism by means of the feminine top classification, a quick objection to evangelism's egalitarian tenets through the male top classification, and the household stress that ensued. Rankin evaluates the revival of the Episcopal church as a male technique to exchange evangelism with a extra conservative method of faith, and he speculates that it was once North Carolina's escalating quarrel with northern states over slavery that successfully confident girls to desert their non secular enthusiasm. Dispelling the parable of the plantation-era Christian gentleman, Rankin argues that prosperous North Carolina men lived now not by means of Christian doctrine yet by way of an ethic of cause and honor. equally, ladies a trendy social code. Rankin exhibits that as revival unfold, many upper-class girls skilled non secular rebirth, targeted their lives at the church instead of on social circles, and tried to transform their husbands to basic Christianity in addition to a extra intimate, worrying form of marriage. Rankin says that upper-class men, besides the fact that, have been decided to withstand a strength that might dissatisfied a social order over which they presided. whereas hardly ever turning into complete communing individuals themselves - an act which might have avoided the dueling, ingesting, and womanizing that their code of honor allowed - those males inspired their other halves, daughters, and sisters to undergo the excessive churchmanship of conservative Episcopal monks. In chroniclingthe next development of the Episcopal church, Rankin credit a transforming into worry of slave unrest and the Abolitionist circulation instead of the male top type or the Episcopal clergy with squelching spiritual fervor between North Carolina's lady aristocracy.
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Additional info for Ambivalent churchmen and Evangelical churchwomen: the religion of the Episcopal elite in North Carolina, 1800-1860
10 Despite this disappointment neither Pettigrew nor a number of the churchmen were yet ready to abandon the old Episcopal forms. 11 The anonymous author provided two major arguments. The first was an "appeal to consensus," a standard device of natural theologians attempting to prove the rationality of their religion. " Secondly, worship fostered the civic stability necessary to protect civil life and property. The church, through its warning of divine judgment after death, theoretically guaranteed civilization by scaring people into lawfulness.
13 Down the coast in Newbern another old Anglican congregation, Christ's Church, also struggled with a new identity. In 1787 the leading men of Newbern petitioned the legislature to permit them Page 10 to sell the church's rectory and use the proceeds to build a schoolhouse, a proposal that suggested the importance of the Episcopal church in their new order. Two years later, however, Newbern town leaders again appealed to the general assembly to incorporate Christ's Church so that old bequests and donations made to the church could be legally appropriated for the use of the local church.
Although Anglican orthodoxy was a major source of genteel culture, other non-Christian values also played important roles in de- Page 5 termining upper-class behavior in the late colonial era. Specifically, ethics of honor and fashion controlled the actions of Anglican gentlemen and ladies. The male elite accepted a special genteel version of the code of honor, a primitive ethical system that operated in all ranks of society. Men of honor were bound together by a shared system of values that recognized personal valor, hospitality, and risk taking as its most respected male attributes.
Ambivalent churchmen and Evangelical churchwomen: the religion of the Episcopal elite in North Carolina, 1800-1860 by Richard Rankin