Review: Damned Nation: Hell in America from the Revolution to Reconstruction

The role of “hell-fire preaching” that this book brings up is a huge aspect of southern culture. I wonder about your experience of it, and your thoughts on what role (if any) hell should play in a progressive faith.
I have not had a chance to read this book yet, but its definitely now on my to-read list.

And I’m not just whistling Dixie!
Your progressive redneck preacher,
Micah

Bob on Books

Damned Nation: Hell in America from the Revolution to Reconstruction
Damned Nation: Hell in America from the Revolution to Reconstruction by Kathryn Gin Lum
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The idea of hell has been contested territory for a long time. From Dante’s Inferno to Rob Bell’s Love Wins, the reality of hell and who is consigned to it continues to be “hotly” debated.

Damned Nation looks at a critical slice of American history from the formation of our country up through the Civil War and the contested ground of the preaching of hell during this period. On the one hand, this book considers the prevalence of the preaching of hell when this was already waning in Europe, and seems to suggest that many public figures were supportive of this preaching as a form of social control in a forming country. On the other, it explores the alternative ideas about judgment that were already present even prior to…

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