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Southern Crucifix, Southern Cross, Southern Crucifix, Southern Cross, 0817317740, 0-8173-1774-0, 978-0-8173-1774-4, 9780817317744, , Religion and American Culture, Southern Crucifix, Southern Cross, 0817386297, 0-8173-8629-7, 978-0-8173-8629-0, 9780817386290, , Religion and American Cultur

Southern Crucifix, Southern Cross
Catholic-Protestant Relations in the Old South
by Andrew Henry Stern

Trade Cloth
2012. 280 pp.
3 illustrations
Price:  $39.95 s
E Book
280 pp.
3 illustrations
Price:  $39.95 d

Southern Crucifix, Southern Cross examines the complex and often overlooked relationships between Catholics and Protestants in the antebellum South.

In sharp contrast to many long-standing presumptions about mistrust or animosity between these two groups, this study proposes that Catholic and Protestant interactions in the South were characterized more by cooperation than by conflict.
Andrew H. M. Stern argues that Catholics worked to integrate themselves into southern society without compromising their religious beliefs and that many Protestants accepted and supported them. Catholic leaders demonstrated the compatibility of Catholicism with American ideals and institutions, and Protestants recognized Catholics as useful citizens, true Americans, and loyal southerners, in particular citing their support for slavery and their hatred of abolitionism.
Mutual assistance between the two groups proved most clear in shared public spaces, with Catholics and Protestants participating in each other’s institutions and funding each other’s enterprises. Catholics and Protestants worshipped in each other’s churches, studied in each other’s schools, and recovered or died in each other’s hospitals.
In many histories of southern religion, typically thought of as Protestant, Catholicism tends to be absent. Likewise, in studies of American Catholicism, Catholic relationships with Protestants, including southern Protestants, are rarely discussed. Southern Crucifix, Southern Cross is the first book to demonstrate in detail the ways in which many Protestants actively fostered the growth of American Catholicism. Stern complicates the dominant historical view of interreligious animosity and offers an unexpected model of religious pluralism that helped to shape southern culture as we know it today.

Andrew H. M. Stern received his PhD in American religious history from Emory University and is an assistant professor of religion at North Carolina Wesleyan College.


"This book presents a powerful argument and a wealth of new stories that require us to think anew not only about Protestants and Catholics but also about the day-to-day functioning of the Old South in general."
The Journal of Southern History

Southern Crucifix, Southern Cross is a valuable contribution to the field of southern religious history. No one has previously done a study, on any level, of Catholic-Protestant relations in the South. This book, based on impressive research, has an important story to tell, and Stern does so in an enviably graceful, economical style.”—Robert Emmett Curran, author of A History of Georgetown University and editor of American Jesuit Spirituality: The Maryland Tradition, 1634–1900

Winner of 2011 Anne B. & James B. McMillan Prize

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