In this Book

Through a Glass Darkly is a collection of essays by scholars who argue that Baptists are frequently misrepresented, by outsiders as well as insiders, as members of an unchanging monolithic sect.
In contemporary discussions of religious denominations, it is often fashionable and easy to make bold claims regarding the history, beliefs, and practices of certain groups. Select versions of Baptist history have been used to vindicate incomplete or inaccurate assertions, attitudes, and features of Baptist life and thought. Historical figures quickly become saints, and overarching value systems can minimize the unsavory realities that would contribute to a truer interpretation of Baptist life.
The essays in this volume use the term Baptist in the broadest sense to refer to those Christians who identify themselves as Baptists and who baptize by immersion as a non-sacramental church rite. Over the past four hundred years, Baptists have grown from a persecuted minority to a significant portion of America’s religious population. They have produced their fair share of controversies and colorful characters that have, in turn, contributed to a multifaceted history.
But what does it mean to be a “real Baptist”? Some look to historical figures as heroic exemplars of Baptist core values. Others consider cultural, social, or political issues to be guideposts for Baptist identity. Through a Glass Darkly dives deeper into history for answers, revealing a more complete version of the expansive and nuanced history of one of America’s most influential religious groups.
James P. Byrd / John G. Crowley / Edward R. Crowther / Christopher H. Evans / Elizabeth H. Flowers / Curtis W. Freeman / Barry G. Hankins / Paul Harvey / Bill J. Leonard / James A. Patterson / Jewel L. Spangler / Alan Scot Willis

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. pp. 1-1
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  1. Title Page, Copyright Page
  2. pp. 2-7
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-10
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  1. Part I. Key Themes
  2. pp. 11-12
  1. 1. Baptists, Church, and State: Rejecting Establishments, Relishing Privilege
  2. pp. 13-29
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  1. 2. Democratic Religion Revisited: Early Baptists in the American South
  2. pp. 30-50
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  1. Part II. Biography
  2. pp. 51-52
  1. 3. Persecution and Polemics: Baptists and the Shaping of the Roger Williams Tradition in the Nineteenth Century
  2. pp. 53-83
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  1. 4. E. Y. Mullins and the Siren Songs of Modernity
  2. pp. 84-111
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  1. 5. The Contested Legacy of Lottie Moon: Southern Baptists, Women, and Partisan Protestantism
  2. pp. 112-144
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  1. 6. Walter Rauschenbusch and the Second Coming: The Social Gospel as Baptist History
  2. pp. 145-171
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  1. 7. “I Am Fundamentally a Clergyman, a Baptist Preacher”: Martin Luther King Jr., Social Christianity, and the Baptist Faith in an Era of Civil Rights
  2. pp. 172-202
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  1. Part III. Historiography
  2. pp. 203-204
  1. 8. “Written that Ye May Believe”: Primitive Baptist Historiography
  2. pp. 205-227
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  1. 9. Reframing the Past: The Impact of Institutional and Ideological Agendas on Modern Interpretations of Landmarkism
  2. pp. 228-250
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  1. 10. Is There a River?: Black Baptists, the Uses of History, and the Long History of the Freedom Movement
  2. pp. 251-271
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  1. 11. Symbolic History in the Cold War Era
  2. pp. 272-295
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  1. 12. Southern Baptists and the F-Word: A Historiography of the Southern Baptist Convention Controversy and What It Might Mean
  2. pp. 296-324
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  1. Contributors
  2. pp. 325-326
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 327-333
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