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A Controversial SpiritEvangelical Awakenings in the South$
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Philip N. Mulder

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780195131635

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0195131630.001.0001

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A Controversial Spirit

Philip N. Mulder (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Leaders of the evangelical denominations in the early nineteenth century wrote works of history and biography, beginning aggressive campaigns of publication in the midst of their competition. They wrote not only to memorialize and celebrate, using journals and memoirs from the first generation, but also to delineate the boundaries separating Presbyterians, Baptists, and Methodists and to strategically define themselves for the second generation. Struggling to counteract the inroads of competitors and schisms challenging denominational orthodoxy, apologists responded by reinforcing distinctive denominational identities. Missionary Baptists such as historians William Fristoe, Lemuel Burkitt, and Jesse Read defended Baptist associations against attacks from Primitive and anti‐Missionary Baptists, while Methodist itinerant Jesse Lee wrote to refute accusations from James O’Kelly's Republican Methodists. In the struggle over denominational identity and limits, particularity and distinction were the heart of the evangelical awakenings in the South.

Keywords:   anti‐Missionary Baptists, biography, denominational, history, journals, memoirs, Missionary Baptists, Primitive Baptists, Republican Methodists, schism

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