Politics and Piety
Baptist Social Reform in America, 1770–1860
Imprint: Pickwick Publications
"For decades we have been told by historians that early American evangelicals--especially Baptists--were so heavenly minded they were of no earthly good. The myth was that they were only interested in evangelism and personal piety. Aaron Menikoff has dispelled the myth and shown persuasively that Baptist leaders of 1770-1860 were anything but disengaged from their culture and its besetting sins. Social action was high on their agenda of priorities, not least because they saw reform as an entailment of the gospel of the risen Christ."
--Ben Mitchell, Union University, Tennessee
"Carefully researched and well argued, this book offers a fresh analysis of the dynamic between social reform and personal piety among Baptists in antebellum America. In telling this story, Aaron Menikoff destroys several sacred cows, including the one that equates the Baptist commitment to the separation of church and state with apathy and disregard for the environing culture. A historical study with contemporary relevance."
--Timothy George, Beeson Divinity School, Samford University, Alabama
"In this richly researched and highly readable book, Menikoff belies the claim that Baptists, including Southern Baptists, are 'so heavenly minded they're no earthly good.' While underscoring their commitment to evangelism and piety, he demonstrates their far-reaching and energetic engagement with social concerns and matters of public policy--from dueling to insurrections, to abolition to temperance, to benevolence."
--Mark Coppenger, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Kentucky