Modernity remade much of the world in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and was nowhere more transformational than in the American South. In the wake of the Civil War, the region not only formed new legal, financial, and social structures, but citizens of the South also faced disorienting uncertainties about personal identity and even gender itself. Ye That Are Men Now Serve Him traces the changes in southern gender roles during the New South period of 1877-1915 and demonstrates that religion is the key to perceiving how constructions of gender changed.

The Civil War cleaved southerners from the culture they had developed organically during antebellum decades, raising questions that went to the very heart of selfhood: What does it mean to be a man? How does a good woman behave? Unmoored from traditional anchors of gender, family, and race, southerners sought guidance from familiar sources: scripture and their churches. In Ye That Are Men Now Serve Him, Colin Chapell traces how concepts of gender evolved within the majority Baptist and Methodist denominations as compared to the more fluid and innovative Holiness movement.

Grounded in expansive research into the Holiness Movement and examination of the archives of the Southern Baptist Convention and the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, Chapell’s writing is also enlivened by a rich trove of other primary sources: diaries, sermons, personal correspondence, published works, and unpublished memoirs. Chapell artfully contrasts the majority Baptist and Methodist views of gender with the relatively radical approaches of the emerging Holiness movement, thereby bringing into focus how subtle differences in belief gave rise to different ideas of gender roles.

While exploring class, race, and politics as factors that contributed to contemporary southern identity, Chapell restores theology to its intuitive place at the center of southern identity. Probing and illuminating, Ye That Are Men Now Serve Him offers much of interest to scholars and readers of the South, southern history, and religion.

Colin B. Chapell
teaches history at the University of Memphis.

“This volume covers much important material, presents a coherent and well-organized argument, and introduces points right at the cutting edge of the field of religion and southern history.”
—Paul Harvey, author of Moses, Jesus, and the Trickster in the Evangelical South and coauthor of The Color of Christ: The Son of God and the Saga of Race in America

“I can think of no one who has treated the gist of a new kind of manliness and a new perspective on women’s roles in church and society as this project does. This is a fresh account, rich with detail, and offers a provocative argument.”
—Randall J. Stephens, author of The Fire Spreads: Holiness and Pentecostalism in the American South and coauthor of The Anointed: Evangelical Truth in a Secular Age

Religion and American Culture
John M. Giggie and Charles A. Israel, series editors

232 pp / 6 B&W illustrations
ISBN: 978-0-8173-1922-9 Cloth
ISBN: 978-0-8173-9007-5 Ebook
Price: $54.95