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After RedemptionJim Crow and the Transformation of African American Religion in the Delta, 1875-1915$
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John M. Giggie

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195304039

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195304039.001.0001

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The Making of the African American Holiness Movement

The Making of the African American Holiness Movement

(p.165) 5 The Making of the African American Holiness Movement
After Redemption

John M. Giggie (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter investigates how growing numbers of Delta blacks rejected a number of the new dimensions to black religion, including the role of fraternal orders, the sight of ministers hawking market wares in person and in print, the popular stress on worldly goods as a sign of spiritual worth and success, and the marginalization of women from traditional roles of authority. It demonstrates how the disenchanted turned to a new breed of religious leader, men such as William Christian, Charles H. Mason, and Charles P. Jones, one-time Baptist ministers who urged blacks to recapture the spirit of primitive Christianity. Each was a founding father of the African American Holiness‐Pentecostal movement and criticized black denominational churches as too materialistic, rational, and hostile to ecstatic dimensions of worship. Yet within twenty years of its founding, the Holiness leaders, ironically, embraced some of the very denominational practices they had previously castigated, revealing not only the limits to their calls for reform but also some of the modern characteristics of Delta black religion as a whole.

Keywords:   African American religion, Holiness, Pentecostal, William Christian, Charles H. Mason, Charles P. Jones, Christianity

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