The Awakening of Absalom B Jones

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The Tree of Life. Hand-colored engraving. Baltimore: printed for John Hagerty, In major revivals that eventually reached into almost every corner of the land began at opposite ends of the country: the decorous Second Great Awakening in New England and the exuberant Great Revival in Kentucky. The principal religious innovation produced by the Kentucky revivals was the camp meeting.

The revivals were organized by Presbyterian ministers, who modeled them after the extended outdoor "communion seasons," used by the Presbyterian Church in Scotland, which frequently produced emotional, demonstrative displays of religious conviction. In Kentucky the pioneers loaded their families and provisions into their wagons and drove to the Presbyterian meetings, where they pitched tents and settled in for several days. When assembled in a field or at the edge of a forest for a prolonged religious meeting, the participants transformed the site into a camp meeting.

The religious revivals that swept the Kentucky camp meetings were so intense and created such gusts of emotion that their original sponsors, the Presbyterians, as well the Baptists, soon repudiated them.

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The Methodists, however, adopted and eventually domesticated camp meetings and introduced them into the eastern United States, where for decades they were one of the evangelical signatures of the denomination. The Kentucky revivals originated with Presbyterians and emerged from marathon outdoor "communion seasons," which were a feature of Presbyterian practice in Scotland. Sacramental Scene in a Western Forest. Lithograph by P. Duval, ca. Philadelphia: General Collections , Library of Congress Note that the men's seats were separated from the women's and the "negro tents" from the whites.

To accommodate the powerful, at times uncontrollable, emotions generated at a camp meeting, Latrobe indicated that, at the right of the main camp, the organizers had erected "a boarded enclosure filled with straw, into which the converted were thrown that they might kick about without injuring themselves. Plan of the Camp, August 8, Journal of Benjamin Latrobe, August 23, August 8, Sketch by Benjamin Henry Latrobe. In J. Maze Burbank exhibited at the Royal Society in London this watercolor of "a camp meeting, or religious revival in America, from a sketch taken on the spot.

Religious Camp Meeting. Watercolor by J. Maze Burbank, c.

Gift of William F. Havemeyer Methodist camp meeting, March 1, Samuel Wakefield, The Christian's Harp. Pittsburgh: Johnston and Stockton, Music Division , Library of Congress William Little and William Smith.

The Awakening

Scholars disagree about the extent of the native African content of black Christianity as it emerged in eighteenth-century America, but there is no dispute that the Christianity of the black population was grounded in evangelicalism. The Second Great Awakening has been called the "central and defining event in the development of Afro-Christianity.

However, many were disappointed at the treatment they received from their fellow believers and at the backsliding in the commitment to abolish slavery that many white Baptists and Methodists had advocated immediately after the American Revolution.

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When their discontent could not be contained, forceful black leaders followed what was becoming an American habit--forming new denominations. Church, which, along with independent black Baptist congregations, flourished as the century progressed. By , the A. Church, which began with 8 clergy and 5 churches, had grown to clergy, churches, and 17, members.

In the center is Richard Allen, founder of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, surrounded by ten bishops of the church. At the upper left and right corners are pictures of Wilberforce University and Payne Institute; other scenes in the life of the church are depicted, including the sending of missionaries to Haiti in Bishops of the A. Engraving by John H. Burley, Washington, D. Boston: J. Daniels, The black churches were graced by eloquent female preachers from their earliest days, although there was, as in the white churches, resistance in many quarters to the idea of women preaching the Gospel.

Juliann Jane Tillman, Preacher of the A. Engraving by P. Duval, after a painting by Alfred Hoffy, Philadelphia, In the letter below, a Mississippi Baptist church informs a Virginia Baptist church that it has been approached by a slave, Charity, who has been sold from Virginia to Mississippi, but nevertheless wishes to let her old fellow church members in Virginia know that she is praying for them and especially for "all her old Mistress family. Garret Garnett , "become prepared to meet her in heaven. Right page. Manuscript letter, June Virginia Baptist Historical Society Thomas in Philadelphia, dedicated on July 17, A year later Jones was ordained as the first black Episcopal priest in the United States.

Absalom Jones. Oil on canvas on board by Raphaelle Peale, Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington. Gift of the Absalom Jones School Thomases African Church in Philadelphia. Receipt, signed by Absalom Jones, December 26, Manuscript Division , Library of Congress a. Emotional exuberance was characteristic of evangelical religion in both the white and black communities in the first half of the nineteenth century. Watercolor by John Lewis Krimmel. Lorenzo Dow was a spellbinding but eccentric traveling Methodist evangelist who could still a turbulent camp meeting with "the sound of his voice or at the sight of his fragile but awe-inspiring presence.

Lorenzo Dow and the Jerking Exercise. Engraving by Lossing-Barrett, from Samuel G. Goodrich, Recollections of a Lifetime. New York: American Shakers shared with the Quakers a devotion to simplicity in conduct and demeanor and to spiritual equality. They "acquired their nickname from their practice of whirling, trembling or shaking during religious services. They often danced in concentric circles and sometimes in the style shown here.

Shaker emissaries from New York visited Kentucky in the early years of the nineteenth century to assess the revivals under way there and made a modest number of converts. Shakers near Lebanon state of N York, their mode of worship. Stipple and line engraving, drawn from life. Two of these pioneers, Barton Stone and Alexander Campbell, were Presbyterian ministers who, for different reasons, left the denomination and formed, in , the Disciples of Christ.

While an active Presbyterian minister, Stone organized the powerful Cane Ridge revival, near Lexington, Kentucky in the summer of Steel engraving by J. Buttre, after a drawing by J.

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McFarland, c. Smith had been "seared but not consumed" by the exuberant evangelicalism of the era. However the Mormon Church cannot be considered as the product of revivalism or as a splintering off from an existing Protestant denomination. It was sui generis, inspired by what Smith described as revelations on a series of gold plates, which he translated and published as the Book of Mormon in The new church conceived itself to be a restoration of primitive Christianity, which other existing churches were considered to have deserted.

The Mormons subscribed to many orthodox Christian beliefs but professed distinctive doctrines based on post-biblical revelation. In the Nauvoo settlement was devastated by its neighbors, and Smith and his brother were murdered. This attack prompted the Mormons, under the leadership of Brigham Young, to migrate to Utah, where the first parties arrived in July The church today is a flourishing, worldwide denomination.

According to a standard reference work, Smith translated it from "golden plates engraved in a language referred to as reformed Egyptian. The plates relate the sacred history of Israelites who, led by a divinely directed righteous man named Lehi, emigrated from Jerusalem to the New World, where Christ appeared and gave them his teachings.

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The record of their experiences, kept by various prophets, was compiled and abridged by the 5th century prophet Mormon. Joseph Smith, Junior. Palmyra, N. Like Passing, Absalom, Absalom! Furthermore, Absalom, Absalom! As Richard Dyer wryly puts it, "the problem with queers is you can't tell who is and who isn't" Culture In Faulkner's novel, the obvious homoeroticism of Charles's and Henry's relationship is mirrored by the homoeroticism between Quentin and Shreve.

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Both Quentin and Henry, however, young men brought up in the patriarchal South, divert their attention away from their homosexual desires onto a more open topic for their time and region: the taint of black blood. Blackness is offered as the final answer for which the narrators and readers search to explain why Henry kills Charles. However, repressed desires and homosexual panic lead to hysteria and self-destruction in both Quentin and Henry.

This repressed homoeroticism finds veiled expression in the narrative structure of the text itself. By blurring the boundaries and emphasizing the interconnections of race, gender, and sexuality, Faulkner reveals that hierarchical categories are arbitrary, they serve to facilitate denial, and they are mutually imbricative, relying on each other to function. Faulkner uses narrative in this novel and others to suggest a blurring of social boundaries and binaries, including those of desire.

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He also speaks and listens at the same time, when he and Shreve identify with Henry Sutpen and Charles Bon: telling and listening merge; they become indistinguishable activities" This fusion of speaking and listening suggests the possibility that other binaries-male and female, gay and straight, black and white-are not as rigid as our culture represents them.

Alex Vernon argues that. While the story turns on the historical Southern taboo of racial intermixing, Faulkner artfully incorporates generic miscegenation into the novel's structure. The narrative structure of Absalom, Absalom!