The African-American Great Awakening

Jay Riley Case

in An Unpredictable Gospel

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199772322
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199932528 | DOI:
The African-American Great Awakening

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In the decades after the Civil War, African-American evangelicalism grew dramatically in a movement that can be called the African-American Great Awakening. More than just church switching from white to black denominations, this movement also included large numbers of blacks who converted to Christianity for the first time. The overwhelming number of black conversions grew from the efforts of African-American evangelists, not from the hands of white missionaries. This chapter analyzes Henry McNeal Turner's debates with Daniel Alexander Payne in the AME church to show how black evangelicalism used components of American culture, such as democratization and religious freedom, to preserve elements of traditional African culture in their Christian practices. Furthermore, African-American Christianity implicitly challenged white Christianity to consider ways in which it had formed unholy alliances with racist dimensions of Western culture.

Keywords: African American; Great Awakening; AME church; conversion; Henry McNeal Turner; Daniel Alexander Payne; democratization; African culture; missionaries

Chapter.  11210 words. 

Subjects: History of Christianity

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