A Fire in the Bones by Albert J. Raboteau

By Albert J. Raboteau

During this interesting selection of essays, Albert Raboteau reexamines the wealthy heritage of the African-American non secular adventure. via his exploration of traditions that come with the Baptist revivals, the AME Church, Black Catholics and African Orisa religions, Raboteau demonstrates how the energetic religion of African-Americans formed their associations and empowered their fight for social justice all through their background.

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The idea of reciprocity between divine providence and America's destiny had tremendous hortatory power, and Puritan preachers exploited it to the full over the next century and more in the jeremiad. In sermon after sermon, a succession of New England divines deciphered droughts, epidemics, Indian attacks, and other misfortunes as tokens of God's displeasure over the sins of the nation. Unless people took the opportunity to humble themselves, repent, and reform, they might expect much more of the same.

7 In the South, these antislavery moves met with strong, immediate, and, as the leadership quickly realized, irreversible opposition. In 1785, the Baltimore Conference of the Methodist Church suspended the rule against slavery. "8 Local Baptist associations in Virginia responded to the General Committee's attack on slavery by declaring that the subject was "so abstruse" that no religious society had the right to concern itself with the issue as a society. "9 As for the slaves, the goal of the church should be the amelioration of their treatment, not emancipation.

After the Revolution, revival fervor continued to flare up sporadically in the South. More and more slaves converted to Christianity under the dramatic preaching of Evangelical revivalists, especially Methodists and Baptists. The emotionalism of the revivals encouraged the outward expression of religious feeling, and the sight of black and white converts weeping, shouting, fainting, and moving in ecstatic trance became a familiar, if sensationalized, feature of the sacramental and camp meeting seasons.

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