Is the South Still a Cultural Region?



2 comments

Click here
for a larger version of the map (as well as lots of other great maps) -- the red states above represent counties where Baptist churches outnumber any others; the black dots are where they outnumber everything else [thanks to Seth for the correction of the original post].

A full accounting of the map above, and numerous related ones about other regions, may be found in the 8-volume series Religion by Region, edited by Mark Silk and Andrew Walsh. The summary interpretive volume of that series has just been published, and I'll blog on it later. The volume Religion and Public Life in the South, published a couple of years ago, is reviewed by our own Darren Grem here.

2 comments:

rjc at: August 5, 2008 at 2:21 PM said...

Great picture of Catholic America!

To complicate this a little, note that in most of the red counties where Baptists are the majority they claim less than 50% of the counties' population.

Seth Dowland at: August 5, 2008 at 2:27 PM said...

Well, slight correction: the red counties are where Baptists outnumber anything else; the red counties with black dots are where Baptists outnumber everything else. But you made your point. And I love the maps the Religion by Region series has produced.

Thomas Schaller, author of Whistling Past Dixie, made (what I think is) a related point on salon.com today: white southerners' voting habits differ more from the national norm than the voting habits of any other region. In Schaller's words, "Is the South, as Meacham states, less distinct than it was 30 years ago? Of course. Will it be less distinct 30 years hence? Sure. ... [but] The outlier region in America is, as it has almost always been, the South -- basically, because overly Republican/conservative whites and overly Democratic blacks live there." You can read Schaller's full post here.

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