Papist Patriots, New South Evangelicals, and Revising Those Lecture Notes

Art Remillard

Ugh! Now I need to revise my colonial America lecture. Thanks, Maura Jane Farrelly. I was perfectly content with this section of my American religious history course until I read your book Papist Patriots: The Making of an American Catholic Identity. My pedagogical rut has me spending a good bit of time on Native Americans and French and Spanish missions (for obvious reasons). Then I turn to the Puritans (anyone see that coming?), with heavy doses of that whole "City upon a Hill" thing (OK, Mark Peterson messed that up too). Meanwhile, my treatment of English Catholicism consists of a perfunctory reference to the Calverts and "An Act Concerning Religion." Time permitting, I talk about how Bishop John Carroll mitigated the anti-Catholicism of his time.

But Farrelly makes the convincing case that I need to do more. For starters, Carroll drew from a discourse that had been swirling in the Maryland air for decades prior. Additionally, Papist Patriots offers exceptional background on Catholicism in England, and how these trends, practices, and patterns transferred to the colony. I could go on, but just go ahead and read some dude's review of the book and listen to the recent JSR podcast with Farrelly. I especially appreciate her concluding thoughts on how her work—to include her JSR article, "Catholics in the Early South"—might influence the broader telling of southern religious history.

After that, be sure to download the latest JSR podcasta discussion about evangelicals engaging the culture of the New South.

This show looks at the Fall 2012 special issue of Perspectives in Religious Studies, a journal published by the National Association of Baptist Professors of Religion. The podcast opens with Joe Coker, who edited the issue and became interested in the topic while writing his outstanding book, Liquor in the Land of the Lost Cause. Next, I talk with contributors John Hayes and Glenn Feldman. Hayes's article is a preview of his forthcoming book on folk Christianity in the South. And Feldman's article deals with themes addressed in his new book, Painting Dixie Red: When, Where, Why, and How the South Became Republican

"The fight! There was no fight." Jack London, 1908
Below is a list of the authors and their articles.  Be warned that listening to this podcast and reading this issue might compel you to revise your lecture notes.
  • Joe Coker, "Editorial Introduction: Southern Evangelicals Engage the Culture of the New South, 1880-1930" 
  • John Hayes, "The Evangelical Ethos and the Spirit of Capitalism" 
  • Arthur Remillard, "Between Faith and Fistic Battles: Moralists, Enthusiasts, and the Idea of Jack Johnson in the New South"
  • Paul Harvey, "'The Right-Minded Members of that Race': Southern Religious Progressives Confront Race, 1880-1930"
  • Fred Arthur Bailey, "Schooling the Negro to His Proper Subordination: White Protestants and Black Education in the New South"
  • Kelly J. Baker, "Evangelizing Klansmen, Nationalizing the South: Faith, Fraternity, and Lost Cause Religion in the 1920s Klan"
  • Glenn Feldman, "Making 'The Southern Religion': Economics, Theology, Martial Patriotism, and Social Indifference—(and the Big Bang Theory of Modern American Politics)"


Tom Van Dyke said…
Alas--and this Irishman came to his own study of the American Revolution in search of Aquinas, everybody looks for their own reflection---the papists' contribution to the Founding was more in the ether of political theology than on the ground.

Perhaps the first thing the younguns should learn is that the originally "Catholic" colony of Maryland had been taken over by repressive Virginia Protestants in the early 1700s, and that Charles Carroll of Carrollton's [the only Catholic of note @ the Founding] father worried that it was no longer fit for Popish to live in.

The Catholic colonists themselves got "colonized" in proper European fashion, as it were.

The Catholic population of Maryland as of 1765 was only 20,000 or so; of several millions in colonial/revolutionary America, the Catholics were more a footnote to American history at this point.

As for the effect of Roman Catholic thought on revolutionary America*, from Aquinas to Suarez to Bellarmine---and via the "Protestant Scholasticism" of Melanchthon [Lutheran], Beza ["Calvinist"/Reformed] and Hooker [Anglican]--- that's far more interesting, but for another day and another dossier.


*And Charles Carroll teaching it[?]

Birzer, American Cicero

But you already knew that. ;-)