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Getting Right With God, Getting Right With God, 0817310606, 0-8173-1060-6, 978-0-8173-1060-8, 9780817310608, , , Getting Right With God, 0817313524, 0-8173-1352-4, 978-0-8173-1352-4, 9780817313524, , , Getting Right With God, 0817357378, 0-8173-5737-8, 978-0-8173-5737-5, 9780817357375,

Getting Right With God
Southern Baptists and Desegregation, 1945-1995

E Book
2008. 312 pp.
Price:  $34.95 d
Quality Paper
2012. 312 pp.
Price:  $34.95 s

This groundbreaking study finds Southern Baptists more diverse in their attitudes toward segregation than previously assumed.

Focusing on the eleven states of the old Confederacy, Getting Right with God examines the evolution of Southern Baptists' attitudes toward African Americans during a tumultuous period of change in the United States. Mark Newman not only offers an in-depth analysis of Baptist institutions from the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) and
state conventions to colleges and churches but also probes beyond these by examining the response of pastors and lay people to changing race relations.

The SBC long held that legal segregation was in line with biblical teachings, but after the Supreme Court's 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education decision in favor of desegregating public institutions, some Southern Baptists found an inconsistency in their basic beliefs. Newman identifies three major blocs of Baptist opinion about race relations: a
hard-line segregationist minority that believed God had ordained slavery in the Bible; a more moderate majority that accepted the prevailing social order of racial segregation; and a progressive group of lay people, pastors, and denominational leaders who criticized and ultimately rejected discrimination as contrary to biblical teachings.

According to Newman, the efforts of the progressives to appeal to Baptists' primary commitments and the demise of de jure segregation caused many moderate and then hard-line segregationists to gradually relinquish their views, leading to the 1995 apology by the SBC for its complicity in slavery and racism. Comparing Southern Baptists with other major white denominations, Newman concludes that lay Baptists differed little from other white southerners in their response to segregation.

Mark Newman is a reader of history at the University of Edinburgh’s School of History, Classics, and Archaeology. Newman’s Getting Right with God: Southern Baptists and Desegregation, 1945–1995, won the Lillian Smith Book Award for nonfiction from the Southern Regional Council, the American Studies Network Book Prize from the European Association for American Studies, and the Anne B. and James B. McMillan Prize from the University of Alabama Press.

"This is a movingaccount of a great regional, religious, and racial tragedy, and Newmantreats everyone involved with fairness, understanding, and empathy....This book covers a lot of terrain that has never been spelled out before,and it will be the indispensable first word on the topic....It fillsa very significant void in the scholarship of the 20th-century South andof the history of southern religion."
—John Boles, Rice University

"It is the best book that has been done on the relationship of Southern Baptists to African Americans during the Civil Rights movement."
—Wayne Flynt, Auburn University

2002 Lillian Smith Book Award, sponsored by Southern Regional Council
2001 American Studies Network Book Prize, sponsored by European Association of American Studies
2000 The Anne B. and James B. McMillan Prize, sponsored by University of Alabama Press