Uplifting the People: Three Centuries of Black Baptists in Alabama (Religion & American Culture)


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Were the slave preachers a force for accommodation to the status quo or a force for the exercise of slave autonomy?


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The weight of slave testimony suggests that the slaves knew and understood the restrictions under which the slave preacher labored, and that they accepted his authority not because it came from the master but because it came from God. They respected him because he was the messenger of the gospel, one who preached the word of God with power and authority, indeed with a power which sometimes humbled white folk and frequently uplifted slaves. What must be recognized is that they emerged as communal songs, heard, felt, sung and often danced with hand-clapping, foot-stamping, headshaking excitement.

In W. He might well have added a fourth characteristic, the conversion experience. The experience of conversion was essential in the religious life of the slaves. At the center of the evangelical Protestant tradition, the tradition which slaves increasingly made their own, stood the experience of conversion. Some slaves rejected Christianity and preserved their traditional African beliefs or their belief in Islam. Other slaves accepted Christianity of a different type—Catholicism.

Relatively few slaves, mainly concentrated in southern Louisiana and Maryland, were Roman Catholics.

BH&H Journal: List of Past Articles / Authors – Baptist History and Heritage Society

According to a generous estimate, the number of black Catholics, free and slave, at the time of emancipation was one hundred thousand [out of approximately four million]. The predominant religious tradition, then, among the slaves and their descendants in the United States was evangelical Protestantism. Slaves believed that God had acted, was acting, and would continue to act within human history and within their own particular history as a peculiar people, just as long ago he had acted on behalf of another chosen people, biblical Israel.

Moreover, slave religion had a this-worldly impact, not only in leading some slaves to acts of external rebellion, but also in helping slaves to assert and maintain a sense of personal value—even of ultimate worth. That some slaves maintained their identity as persons, despite a system bent on reducing them to a subhuman level, was certainly due in part to their religious life.

Albert J. Raboteau is Henry W.

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Johnson "This work offers insight into the diversity, breadth, and complexity of the cultural influences that shaped Baptist identity". Patterson James Robinson Graves is known for firmly believing that Baptists of his day needed clearly distinct markers in order to preserve a meaningful denominational identity. The founder of Landmarkism, his theology emphasized church succession an unbroken trail of authentic congregations dating back to the New Testament , the local church rather than the idea of a universal Body of Christ , and strict baptism guidelines.

In this first biography of Graves in more than eighty years, author James A. Patterson portrays the man as bold and brash. A native of Vermont who moved south to Nashville in , the self-educated preacher and budding journalist would become a combative defender of the Baptist cause, engaging in public controversy with Methodists, Restorationists, and even fellow Baptists. We then sequentially adjusted for service attendance, social interaction, and subjective religiosity and spirituality Models 2—4. Next, we adjusted for all three religion variables simultaneously Model 5.

We examined how well each religious involvement model fit the data using goodness of fit Archer et al. Our second hypothesis is that the protective association between religious involvement and AUD is stronger for Blacks than for Whites. We derived race-specific estimates of the association between each religious involvement indicator and AUD as well as the three indicators simultaneously.

Then, we tested for differences on the odds ratio OR scale between Blacks and Whites using the Adjusted Wald Test and confirmed the results by performing interaction contrasts Schwartz, of race differences on the probability scale i. Because NESARC is weighted to adjust for nonresponse at the household and individual levels, selection of one person per household, and oversampling of the demographic subgroups, all analyses were weighted and performed in STATA These procedures account for the complex survey design of NESARC and obtain correct standard errors when analyzing subgroups within a larger survey Heeringa et al.


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Demographic characteristics of the sample, month prevalence of AUD, and levels of religious involvement are presented in Table 1. White men had the highest number of other religious members they interacted with socially 9. Table 2 presents the results of the analyses evaluating Hypothesis 1 among men, specifically that religious involvement would account for Black—White differences in AUD. Independently, each religious involvement indicator partially attenuated Black—White differences in odds of month AUD. Supplemental Tables S1 and S2 are presented as compendiums to this article online.

Table 3 shows the results among women. Blacks had 0. Adjustment for any of the religious involvement indicators in Models 2—4 attenuated the OR for race. Table 4 shows that our second hypothesis was not supported. Notes: Models were estimated separately for race and gender, adjusted for covariates education, income, age, marital status, and nativity. We extended prior research Herd, , by investigating the role of multiple indicators of religious involvement in the Black—White AUD paradox.

We found that religious involvement accounted for part of the association between race and AUD. Our results are consistent with findings on race differences in alcohol use and abstinence among adolescents and abstinence from alcohol use, which showed that controlling for religiosity substantially reduces race differences Wallace et al.

In our study, among men, the religious involvement indicators combined accounted for about one fifth of the lower odds of AUD among Blacks. Among women, religious involvement accounted for nearly half of the lower odds of AUD among Blacks. These gender differences could reflect the different quality of social support Black women receive from religious involvement in relation to men van Olphen et al. The results of supplemental analyses adjusting for co-occurring psychiatric and substance disorders suggest that the role of religious involvement in accounting for Black—White differences in AUD is potentially independent of other forms of psychopathology.

These models are also misspecified to the extent that other comorbidities occur after AUD. Evidence from prospective studies indicates that psychiatric disorders often precede AUD e. Our study has the following limitations. Religious denomination was not available in NESARC, which could potentially affect associations between religious involvement and attenuation of Black—White differences. For instance, one study showed that a higher proportion of predominantly Black denominations i. For example, one prospective study showed that among persons with no AUD at baseline, a higher frequency of organized religious attendance was associated with a lower risk of 6-month AUD incidence Borders et al.

Finally, it is important to consider the extent of causal inferences that can be sustained by our study design.

However, our analyses cannot sustain inferences regarding causal mediation i. Therefore, our conclusions are in reference to the observational association between race and AUD. Both religious involvement and AUD were measured in adulthood, but there could be protective factors in childhood Breslau et al. There could also be race differences in childhood influences e.

Some strengths of this study include examining multiple indicators of religious involvement separately in a nationally representative sample of Black and White men and women. Although we did not consider potential ethnic heterogeneity among Blacks or Whites , our key findings may have been similar. Both Caribbean-born and U. This study advances our understanding of the social epidemiology of AUD. We show that core religious involvement indicators, including religious service attendance and subjective religiosity and spirituality, account for a meaningful share of the Black—White difference in AUD.

National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. J Stud Alcohol Drugs. Published online Sep 7. Yusuf Ransome , Dr.

Gilman , Sc. Stephen E. Author information Article notes Copyright and License information Disclaimer. Received Sep 17; Accepted Feb 4. This article has been cited by other articles in PMC.

Social and Economic Factors in the Reconstruction Era

Abstract Objective: To date, a paradox in the social epidemiology of alcohol use disorders AUDs remains unresolved: non-Hispanic Blacks experience higher socioeconomic disadvantage, stressor exposures, and individual stress—prominent AUD risk factors, yet have lower than expected AUD risk compared with non-Hispanic Whites. Conclusions: Religious service attendance, subjective religiosity, and spirituality account for a meaningful share of the Black—White differences in AUD. The role of religious involvement in race differences in alcohol use disorder Variations in the levels of religious involvement and potential differences in strength of protection provided by religious involvement between Blacks and Whites may account for racial differences in AUD risk.

Measures Alcohol use disorders. Religious involvement. Results Demographic characteristics of the sample, month prevalence of AUD, and levels of religious involvement are presented in Table 1. Table 1. Sample characteristics by race and gender. Open in a separate window. Table 2. Table 3. Table 4. Discussion We extended prior research Herd, , by investigating the role of multiple indicators of religious involvement in the Black—White AUD paradox.

Conclusion This study advances our understanding of the social epidemiology of AUD.

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References American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders. Washington, DC: Author; Goodness-of-fit tests for logistic regression models when data are collected using a complex sampling design. Protestantism and alcoholism. Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly. Stress trajectories, health behaviors, and the mental health of black and white young adults. Religiousness among at-risk drinkers: Is it prospectively associated with the development or maintenance of an alcohol-use disorder? Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.

Economic costs of excessive alcohol consumption in the U. American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Specifying race-ethnic differences in risk for psychiatric disorder in a USA national sample. Psychological Medicine. American Journal of Public Health. Journal of Black Studies.

The role of religion in predicting adolescent alcohol use and problem drinking.

Uplifting the People: Three Centuries of Black Baptists in Alabama (Religion & American Culture) Uplifting the People: Three Centuries of Black Baptists in Alabama (Religion & American Culture)
Uplifting the People: Three Centuries of Black Baptists in Alabama (Religion & American Culture) Uplifting the People: Three Centuries of Black Baptists in Alabama (Religion & American Culture)
Uplifting the People: Three Centuries of Black Baptists in Alabama (Religion & American Culture) Uplifting the People: Three Centuries of Black Baptists in Alabama (Religion & American Culture)
Uplifting the People: Three Centuries of Black Baptists in Alabama (Religion & American Culture) Uplifting the People: Three Centuries of Black Baptists in Alabama (Religion & American Culture)
Uplifting the People: Three Centuries of Black Baptists in Alabama (Religion & American Culture) Uplifting the People: Three Centuries of Black Baptists in Alabama (Religion & American Culture)
Uplifting the People: Three Centuries of Black Baptists in Alabama (Religion & American Culture) Uplifting the People: Three Centuries of Black Baptists in Alabama (Religion & American Culture)
Uplifting the People: Three Centuries of Black Baptists in Alabama (Religion & American Culture) Uplifting the People: Three Centuries of Black Baptists in Alabama (Religion & American Culture)

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