Professor Holifield locates the southern theologians in their broader American setting and in the context of European debates about reason, revelation, science, and moral philosophy. He thus explores a wide range of topics that clarify the history of southern--and American--religion: the presuppositions of liberalism and the logic of conservatism; the influence of Scottish Common-Sense Philosophers, British theologians, and German Biblical critics; the foundations and functions of southern social ethics; the didactic uses of ritual; and the continuing effort of nineteenth-century theologians to demonstrate the reasonableness of both the Christian religion and the whole natural order. ""In this minutely documented study, Professor Holifield, a brilliant . . . scholar, demolishes the myth that the Old South's clergy were ardent devotees of emotional religion but showed very little interest in a rational faith. In fact, the urban areas contained a considerable number of Catholic and Protestant leaders who were well acquainted with theological developments on the Continent and in Great Britain, and who produced carefully reasoned works in theology and moral philosophy. To be sure, their patterns of thought were predominantly orthodox, but they were by no means uncritical of the various types of orthodoxy. Professor Holifield has opened important new vistas on southern theology, and his penetrating exploration demands serious attention."" --H. Shelton Smith, Duke University E. Brooks Holifield is C. H. Candler Professor of American Church History, Candler School of Theology, Emory University. His first book was The Covenant Sealed: The Development of Puritan Sacramental Theology in Old and New England, 1570-1720.