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Gettysburg ReligionRefinement, Diversity, and Race in the Antebellum and Civil War Border North$
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Steve Longenecker

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780823255191

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823255191.001.0001

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In Theory

(p.37) 2 Refinement
Gettysburg Religion

Steve Longenecker

Fordham University Press

Refinement—that is, the evaluation of manners, dress, speech, possessions, bearing, pastimes, and homes for style, beauty, and improvement—was integral to Gettysburg religion. The Lutheran Theological Seminary and Pennsylvania College contributed polished Lutheran men to the surrounding region. Methodists experienced a decline in revivals, camp meetings, emotional conversion, classes, discipline, and nonconformity—all of which seemed unrefined—while Sunday schools, catechisms, nurture, and dignity increased, all markers of middle-class respectability. Meanwhile, Dunkers, an Anabaptist fellowship, went the other direction, redoubling efforts to resist refinement at home, in their garb, and in the meetinghouse, paradoxically bearing witness to the ability of refinement to define the mainstream. In sum, the Lutheran Seminary, Pennsylvania College, Methodists, and Dunkers illustrate the power of refinement in Gettysburg religion and in American thought.

Keywords:   Gettysburg, religion, Refinement, Dunkers, Lutheran Theological Seminary, Revivalism, Methodism, Samuel Simon Schmucker, Sunday School, Nonconformity

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