‘Bishops, Bourbons, and Big Mules’

A History of the Episcopal Church in Alabama

“Bishops, Bourbons, and Big Mules: A History of the Episcopal Church in Alabama.” J. Barry Vaughn. Tuscaloosa, Ala.: University of Alabama Press, 2013. 280 pp.

“Bishops, Bourbons, and Big Mules: A History of the Episcopal Church in Alabama.” J. Barry Vaughn. Tuscaloosa, Ala.: University of Alabama Press, 2013. 280 pp.

J. Barry Vaughn’s “Bishops, Bourbons, and Big Mules: A History of the Episcopal Church in Alabama” (University of Alabama Press, 2013) tells the story of how the Episcopal Church gained influence over Alabama’s cultural, political and economic arenas despite being a denominational minority in the state.

Although evangelicalism has dominated the South since the Great Awakening, the Episcopal Church has played a significant role in shaping Alabama’s history. The Episcopal Church has never represented a large fraction of Alabama’s population, but an inordinately high proportion of the state’s significant leaders have been Episcopalians.

Vaughn, an Alabama native (currently rector of Christ Episcopal Church, Las Vegas), argues that the Episcopal Church was able to attract many of the state’s most important leaders by positioning itself as the church of conservative political elites in the state and also because of its wide degree of doctrinal latitude and laissez-faire attitude toward human frailty.

Vaughn begins this narrative by explaining how Anglicanism came to Alabama and then highlights how Episcopal bishops and congregation members alike took active roles in the Civil War, Reconstruction and the civil rights movement. The book closes with Vaughn’s own predictions about the fate of the Episcopal Church in 21st century Alabama.

“Bishops, Bourbons, and Big Mules” can be ordered here.

“A lively and well-researched history of The Episcopal Church which has much to teach students of the broader history of the church as well as those who are particularly interested in Alabama. The title should draw in many, and the fascinating details of Civil War history, Tallulah Bankhead, deaconesses, and intra-church politics will keep any reader engaged. The author offers a frank and thoughtful treatment of the church’s attitudes toward slavery and racism which just might lead to repentance and healing. He also points to earlier models of Episcopal leadership and attitudes to conflict which are being tested again in the 21st century. Enjoy – it’s a riveting read!” — The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church

Speak Your Mind

*

Full names required. Read our Comment Policy. General comments and suggestions about the Episcopal Digital Network, or any site on the network, as well as reports of commenting misconduct, can be made here.


Se necesita el nombre completo. Lea nuestra política para los comentarios. Puede hacer aquí comentarios generales y sugerencias sobre Episcopal Digital Network, o de cualquier sitio en Episcopal Digital Network, así como también informes de comentarios sobre conducta inadecuada.