Vindicating the South: South Carolina's Religious Print Culture and Confederate Nationalism
This study focuses on four religious periodicals published in South Carolina: the <i> Southern Presbyterian Review </i>, the <i> Southern Episcopalian </i>, the <i> Southern Lutheran </i>, and the <i> United States Catholic Miscellany </i> (which became the <i> Charleston Catholic Miscellany </i> upon secession) and examines the way in which the religious press helped shape Confederate national identity. These periodicals represented denominations that remained united as national church bodies at least until the point of secession, providing a contrast from the earlier splits of the Baptists and Methodists in the 1840s over slavery. Placed in the context of sectional journalism, these periodicals demonstrate how the religious press worked alongside the secular press to help shape Confederate national identity. This study examines three aspects of these publications: the way the religious press advocated secession and helped to shape Confederate nationalism; the ecclesiastical splits of the Old School Presbyterians, Episcopalians, and Lutherans; and continued efforts by the religious press to shape Confederate national identity through engagement with war events. This study bridges the existing scholarship on religion and the Civil War and the role of the secular press in the secession crisis to demonstrate how the religious press functioned in a political capacity to develop Confederate nationalism. Furthermore, these papers worked to develop Confederate nationalism while simultaneously developing southern church identity. The <i> Southern Presbyterian Review </i>, the <i> Southern Episcopalian </i>, the <i> Southern Lutheran </i>, and the <i> Charleston Catholic Miscellany </i> actively worked, alongside the secular press, to advocate political separation, write Confederate national identity into existence, and form southern church identity to match the new national identity.