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By Albert J. Raboteau

"A fireplace within the Bones is greater than a historical past of black Christians: it's the compelling tale of the ways that black folks have grew to become to Christianity to explain their heritage and plight in the United States and to undertaking their imaginative and prescient of redemption to the better country . . . A needs to read." --Craig Steven Wilder, big apple Newsday "A significant contribution . . . fantastically narrated." --Rembert Weakland, the recent York instances ebook overview

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Nurturing Christian communities among slaves and free blacks, these pioneer preachers began to build an independent black church in the last quarter of the eighteenth century. Slave preachers, exhorters, and church-appointed watchmen instructed their fellow slaves, nurtured their religious development, and brought them to conversion, in some cases without Page 25 the active involvement of white missionaries or masters at all. The spread of Baptist and Methodist Evangelicalism between 1770 and 1820 changed the religious complexion of the South by bringing unprecedented numbers of slaves into membership in the Church and by introducing even larger numbers to at least the rudiments of Christianity.

They used to sing their songs in a whisper.  . once or twice a week. 11 Inevitably, the slaves' Christianity contradicted that of their masters, for the slaves knew that no matter how sincerely religious a slaveowner might be, his Christianity was compatible with slavery, and theirs was not. The division went deep; it extended to the fundamental interpretation of the Bible.  .  . The preacher could not complain of any deadly space between himself and his congregation.  . rapport. " What was figurative they interpreted literally.

E. B. " The long encounter of black and white Americans, which began tragically under slavery and still proceeds under the long shadow of the plantation, remains the paradigmatic test of the national experiment. I encourage the reader to imagine this book as a quilt stitched Page xi together of separate pieces that fit, I trust, into an overall pattern. " All have in common my attempt to be faithful to the voices of African-American narrators as I heard them speak through historical documents of various sorts about the meaning(s) of black experience in America.

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