Exploded graces: Providence and the Confederate Israel in evangelical southern sermons, 1861-1865
Lee, Ronald Glenn
Boles, John B.
Master of Arts
The confidence of Confederate evangelicals in the support of providence inspired southern clergymen to demand the transformation of the independent South into a nineteenth-century covenant nation--a "Confederate Israel." Such a Confederate Israel was needed to impede the spread of liberalism in the South and in the world, and also to serve as prelude to the establishment of the millennial kingdom. Nevertheless, disillusionment--due to military defeat, the spread of moral and political corruption in the Confederate States, and the failure of attempts to reform slavery--compelled clergymen to announce the establishment of a "new covenant" based upon redemptive communal suffering and an eschatological--rather than a political and temporal--vindication of the South in the plans of providence. Such an interpretation permitted the evangelical Confederate Israel to survive Appomattox and was also to provide the ultimate theological basis of the post-war cult of the Lost Cause.
Religious history; American history; Religion; Clergy