The Bancroft Prize, commonly regarded as the most prestigious award for scholarship on American history, took the unusual step last April of honoring a book focusing on America's religious past. Southern Cross: The Beginnings of the Bible Belt, by University of Delaware historian Christine Heyrman, explores how Evangelicalism emerged as the dominant religious faith in the American South. Heyrman focuses her research on churches and ministers in the Baptist, Methodist, and, to a lesser extent, Presbyterian denominations, from the years following the American revolution until the mid-nineteenth century. Her basic thesis might be summarized as "the South changed Evangelicalism more than Evangelicalism changed the South."
William Inboden is a special advisor in the Office of International Religious Freedom.
Issue: "Hermeneutics: Has God Really Said?" July/August 1999 Vol. 8 No. 4 Page number(s): 41-42
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