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This unique republishing of the 1867 R. L. Dabney classic apologia for the South has been annotated by editor Gary Lee Roper, a former pastor and Christian educator. English meanings for the many Latin phrases used by Dabney are given for greater understanding of Dabney's thesis. In addition, a related bonus essay is included by the editor. Reason as to why R. L. Dabney wrote this book, and why it is considered his premier work are given. In this apologia, Dabney tells why he thinks that abolitionism was nothing more than a type of unbelief – of man standing in judgment of God’s Word – and that that unbelief had been spreading and growing since the Jacobinist French Revolution.
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R. L. DABNEY (1820-1898) was a Southern theologian of the 19th Century. During the War Between the States, he served as an adjutant-general to Stonewall Jackson. Dabney believed that one of the South’s flaws was the lack of any serious scholarly and theological defenses of the Southern position. He sought to rectify this in his “Defense.” “Our failure to meet the abolition charges squarely,” he wrote, “was viewed as a confession of our own guilt.” Dabney makes a case that was sanctioned not only by both the Old and the New Testaments, but also by sound political economy and natural ethics. He agreed that the institution of slavery was open to abuse and indeed, he stridently condemned those abuses, but maintained that to say that slavery “per se” was horribly sinful was just plain unscriptural. Abolitionist theologians he held in contempt; stating that abolitionism was nothing more than a type of unbelief – of man standing in judgment of God’s Word – and that that unbelief had been spreading and growing since the Jacobinist French Revolution. According to historian Thomas E. Woods, Jr. , “In both the theology and social thought of the abolitionists he found a corrosive individualism he deemed fatal to civil society. The principal tenant of the thought he was criticizing was that the individual may be bound only by those restraints to which he has explicitly, or at least implicitly consented. The problem with such a theory, according to Dabney, apart from the obvious difficulty of deriving civic obligation from a social contract whose own theorist admitted was a historical fiction, was that by placing the locus of authority in the individual it tended to undermine all authority. In particular he worried that abolitionist arguments against subjugation to authority could be extended to the very cell of society, the family, in which also reside the relations of authority and subordination. Thus Dabney could concluded his ‘Defense’ by assuring his aggrieved compatriots that ‘they will be avenged through the same disorganizing heresies under which they now suffer, and through the anarchy and woes which those things which bring upon the North.’” (Woods, 545-46). Robert Lewis Dabney spent his twilight years teaching and writing at the University of Texas in Austin until 1894. After suffering from a number of chronic health problems, he died in 1898. View this man in the context of the times in which he lived.
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Book Description CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2015. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M1511580941