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Cultures of ViolenceLynching and Racial Killing in South Africa and the American South$
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Ivan Evans

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780719079047

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719079047.001.0001

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Racial violence and religion in the New South

Racial violence and religion in the New South

(p.123) 5 Racial violence and religion in the New South
Cultures of Violence

Ivan Evans

Manchester University Press

This chapter shows that while Evangelical Protestantism in the South did not ‘cause’ lynching, it did, however, establish a cultural predisposition which normalized lynching. Because it left unexamined the many social and political asymmetries in Southern society, evangelical Protestantism remained ‘generally aligned with the causes of conservatism, aesthetic vacuity, anti-intellectualism, provincialism, [and] resistance to new cultural currents’. Although the alignment was never perfect, and many ministers and theologians denounced lynching as fundamentally un-Christian, the organizing creeds of evangelical Protestantism were still sufficient to sustain lynching as a religious and specifically Christian practice.

Keywords:   American South, religion, lynching, evangelical Protestantism

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