Bearing Witness against Sin: The Evangelical Birth of the American Social Movement

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9780226960852: Bearing Witness against Sin: The Evangelical Birth of the American Social Movement

During the 1830s the United States experienced a wave of movements for social change over temperance, the abolition of slavery, anti-vice activism, and a host of other moral reforms. Michael Young argues for the first time in Bearing Witness against Sin that together they represented a distinctive new style of mobilization—one that prefigured contemporary forms of social protest by underscoring the role of national religious structures and cultural schemas.

In this book, Young identifies a new strain of protest that challenged antebellum Americans to take personal responsibility for reforming social problems.In this period activists demanded that social problems like drinking and slaveholding be recognized as national sins unsurpassed in their evil and immorality. This newly awakened consciousness undergirded by a confessional style of protest, seized the American imagination and galvanized thousands of people. Such a phenomenon, Young argues, helps explain the lives of charismatic reformers such as William Lloyd Garrison and the Grimké sisters, among others.

Marshalling lively historical materials, including letters and life histories of reformers, Bearing Witness against Sin is a revelatory account of how religion lay at the heart of social reform.

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About the Author:

Michael P. Young is assistant professor of sociology at the University of Texas at Austin.

Review:

“Michael Young has done the unlikely: drawing new insights and rigorous comparisons from the well-trodden territory of movements for moral reform in the United States. Bearing Witness against Sin draws from abolitionism, temperance, and moral reform in the 1830s an enduring lesson about American social movements—about both their persistent religious foundations and the uneasy balance they need to maintain between interior moral reform and external political change. The mechanism for that conjunction in the 1830s was the public confession; but Young’s findings go well beyond these three movements to the contemporary movements he briefly surveys at the end of the book and to the moral/political crisis of America today.”--Sidney Tarrow, Maxwell M. Upson Professor of Government and Professor of Sociology, Cornell University

(Sydney Tarrow 2006-07-14)

"Young's analysis and storyline are helpful, coherent, and persuasive in many ways. The book enhances our understanding of religious, political, and social events in antebellum America." (Charles Hambrick-Stowe American Historical Review)

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Book Description The University of Chicago Press, United States, 2007. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. During the 1830s, the United States experienced a wave of movements for social change over temperance, the abolition of slavery, anti-vice activism, and a host of other moral reforms. While these efforts have mostly been considered independently of one another, Michael P. Young argues, for the first time in Bearing Witness against Sin that together they represented a distinctive new style of mobilization - one that prefigured contemporary forms of social protest by underscoring the role of national religious structures. In this book, Young identifies a new strain of protest that challenged antebellum Americans to take personal responsibility for reforming social problems. At this point in history, national sins, such as slaveholding were first being recognized for their unmatched evil and sinfulness. This newly awakened consciousness coupled with a confessional style of protest seized the American imagination and took off in a way that galvanized thousands of people. Such a phenomenon, Young argues, helps explain the lives of charismatic reformers such as William Lloyd Garrison, the Grimke sisters, and many others. Marshalling lively historical materials, including letters and life histories of reformers, Bearing Witness against Sin is a revelatory account of how religion lay at the heart of social reform. Bookseller Inventory # BTE9780226960852

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