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Title: John L. Girardeau (1825-1898) and Southern Presbyterian evangelicalism
Author: Garrott, T. Murray
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2004
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The central thesis of this work is that John Lafayette Girardeau’s commitment to the religious instruction of the slaves of Charleston was not most consistent volitional response to the theological views of his denomination. At the most critical period in history for the Southern Presbyterian Church to demonstrate that their actions among the slaves were consistent with their collective ideology to evangelize and minister to them, Girardeau acted virtually alone in his attempt to make their religious and spiritual well-being a priority even above his own race. Perhaps the most tragic feature that will be disclosed in this study of Girardeau is the extent to which the Southern Presbyterian Church failed to mirror the efforts of the one whom they so quickly praised. Girardeau’s life provides a picture of a true nineteenth-century Southern Presbyterian Evangelical by highlighting what was missing among his colleagues. Girardeau’s multifaceted ministry to the South Carolina slaves, Charleston elite, Confederate soldiers, and seminary students is presented in a biographical study, chronologically examining the pivotal stages of his life. This biography traces the intellectual, social, cultural, emotional, volitional, and spiritual development of Girardeau, incorporating historical context throughout the thesis to present a more balanced work. An examination of a significant portion of the primary material, including articles, essays, reports, eulogies, and editorials written by colleagues, friends, reporters, close friends, students, and Presbyterian ministers and churchmen suggests that Girardeau is portrayed as a symbol of southern righteousness. His popularity tends to accentuate the inclination of many of those affiliated with the Southern Presbyterian Church to live vicariously through the ‘success’ of one of their own. Further, the emphasis that is given to Girardeau’s exemplary work among the seaboard slaves tends to underscore the collective failure of the Southern Presbyterian Church to do the same.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available