At the Altar of Lynching

Burn Sam Hose in the American South

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Donald G. Mathews
Cambridge Studies on the American South
  • Cambridge, England: 
    Cambridge University Press
    , September
     2017.
     400 pages.
     $29.99.
     Paperback.
    ISBN
    9781316633984.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by Paul Harvey forthcoming.

Description

The story of a black day-laborer called Sam Hose killing his white employer in a workplace dispute ended in a lynching of enormous religious significance. For many deeply-religious communities in the Jim Crow South, killing those like Sam Hose restored balance to a moral cosmos upended by a heinous crime. A religious intensity in the mood and morality of segregation surpassed law, and in times of social crisis could justify illegal white violence - even to the extreme act of lynching. In At the Altar of Lynching, distinguished historian Donald G. Mathews offers a new interpretation of the murder of Sam Hose, which places the religious culture of the evangelical South at its center. He carefully considers how mainline Protestants, including women, not only in many instances came to support or accept lynching, but gave the act religious meaning and justification.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Donald G. Mathews has taught at Duke and Princeton Universities, as well as at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He has studied and written about religion and the South for over fifty years, publishing three books and over thirty articles. He is the author of Religion in the Old South (1979) and co-author of Sex, Gender, and the Politics of ERA (1993).

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