Judgment and Grace in Dixie
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Judgment and Grace in Dixie

Southern Faiths from Faulkner to Elvis

Title Details

Pages: 234

Illustrations: 25 b&w photos

Trim size: 6.120in x 9.250in



Pub Date: 06/01/2007

ISBN: 9-780-8203-2965-9

List Price: $27.95

Judgment and Grace in Dixie

Southern Faiths from Faulkner to Elvis

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  • Description
  • Reviews
  • Contributors

Religion has permeated nearly every aspect of modern southern culture, with results that range from portraits of Jesus on black velvet to the soul-stirring orations of Martin Luther King Jr. In Judgment and Grace in Dixie, Charles Reagan Wilson makes a lively appraisal of religion's influence on such expressions of regional life as literature, music, and folk art, as well as on such public spectacles as football games and beauty pageants.

Wilson's focus is on popular religion—evangelical Protestantism as embraced at the grassroots level, where distinctions between the sacred and secular are blurred and belief in the supernatural remains strong. As he traces the development and meaning of popular religion and pop culture, Wilson ranges widely across a spiritual landscape rich in iconic accumulations of people, places, events, and artifacts—church fans and Elvis Presley memorabilia, the painting of Howard Finster and the songs of Hank Williams, the Scopes trial and the death of Bear Bryant.

Wilson writes in a clear and entertaining style with insight and sympathy. He understands and explains the pervasive religious mindset of the South.

Library Journal

A brilliant excavation of religious strains in the southern psyche.


A fascinating examination of the South's pervasive evangelical Protestantism. Anyone interested in the modern South will enjoy this engaging, well-written book.

—John Shelton Reed, author of Southern Folk, Plain and Fancy: Native White Social Types

Anyone who wants to know. more about contemporary southern religious and cultural life should start with this book. Wilson possesses an outstanding ability to look clearly at the transformations of the South and to interpret their meaning by focusing on popular events and icons.

—Edward L. Queen II, Christian Century

Highly readable and often thought-provoking, these essays make a notable contribution to our understanding of religion's influence in the South.

Atlanta History

Wilson is an inspired eclectic and a strategic reader in scholarship produced in disciplines other than history. . . . This collection entertains!

Southern Quarterly

Eclectic and suggestive . . . A book that intersects provocatively with the work of scholars such as Colleen McDannell, Ted Ownby, and Lawrence Levine on material culture, religion, and consumerism.

Church History

For those who try to understand the matter of religion in the South, the topic is a bewildering one. . . . With a prose style that is clear and supple and an intelligence that is probing and authoritative, Charles Reagan Wilson demystifies the subject and carries us into the very heart of the dilemma.

South Atlantic Review

Tom Rankin

About the Author/Editor

CHARLES REAGAN WILSON is director of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture and a professor of history at the University of Mississippi. He is coeditor of the Encyclopedia of Southern Culture and author of Baptized in Blood (Georgia).