By Daniel W. Stowell
Either the North and the South considered the Civil conflict in Christian phrases. either side believed that its struggle used to be simply, that God favorite its reason. Rebuilding Zion is the 1st examine to discover concurrently the response of southern white evangelicals, northern white evangelicals, and Christian freedpeople to accomplice defeat. As white southerners struggled to guarantee themselves that the cave in of the Confederacy used to be now not a sign of God's stern judgment, white northerners and freedpeople have been convinced that it used to be. writer Daniel W. Stowell tells the tale of the non secular reconstruction of the South following the battle, a sour contest among southern and northern evangelicals, on the center of which used to be the destiny of the freedpeople's souls and the southern attempt to take care of a feeling of sectional identification.
Central to the southern church buildings' imaginative and prescient of the Civil struggle was once the concept that God had now not deserted the South; defeat was once a Father's stern chastisement. Secession and slavery had no longer been sinful; particularly, it used to be the radicalism of the northern denominations that threatened the purity of the Gospel. Northern evangelicals, armed with a drastically assorted imaginative and prescient of the that means of the conflict and their name to Christian accountability, entered the post-war South aspiring to shop white southerner and ex-slave alike. The freedpeople, although, drew their very own providential which means from the struggle and its end result. The objective for blacks within the postwar interval was once to set up church buildings for themselves cut loose the keep watch over in their former masters.
Stowell plots the conflicts that resulted from those competing visions of the non secular reconstruction of the South. through demonstrating how the southern imaginative and prescient finally got here to predominate over, yet now not eliminate, the northern and freedpeople's visions for the non secular lifetime of the South, he exhibits how the southern church buildings grew to become one of many crucial bulwarks of the recent South, a zone marked by means of severe piety and severe racism in the course of the 20th century.