For ye know not when the master of the house cometh: privacy and power in the development of North Carolina's religious culture Public Deposited

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  • March 21, 2019
  • Leslie, James Mark
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of History
  • This dissertation makes three interrelated points. First, the religious landscape of colonial North Carolina was diverse. For the colony's Anglican governors, a stable Anglican establishment would have created a stable and loyal colony. Unfortunately for these governors, the colony remained diverse until the end colonial period. Second, religious celebrations were often both about celebrating the divine and also about affirming more worldly relationships. Third, this project calls into question narratives of development that are premised upon the assumption that the colonial South was largely Anglican. Some historians assert that evangelicalism brought with it a more individualistic religious culture that replaced an Anglican culture that focused on community and hierarchy. Other historians claim that evangelicals were unsuccessful in challenging men's claims to dominion over their households. This dissertation, however, claims that Anglican culture in colonial North Carolina was far from hegemonic, and instead a diversity of religious groups developed diverse communities in North Carolina. Some of those religious groups developed community standards that challenged men's claims to dominion over their households while others developed communities that celebrated men's authority over their households. By the antebellum period, however, this diverse religious landscape had been replaced by a new cultural hegemony in which households were seen as private spaces largely beyond the reach of religious inspection and correction. Ministers and groups who violated this privacy either chose to leave North Carolina in order to preserve their spiritual purity or they were forced out of positions of authority. The religious communities and leaders that thrived left men free to govern their households.
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  • In Copyright
  • ... in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the Department of History.
  • Sweet, John Wood
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  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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