James Henley Thornwell


James Henley Thornwell, R. L. Dabney, and the Shaping of Southern Theology

From the 2004 Abbeville Institute Summer School It's a privilege for me to be here. I've enjoyed the sessions very much so far. In fact, after the sessions yesterday I had to go and rewrite my conclusion just from things that I learned, especially about locality, localism, and patrimony. Just fascinating. Today I want to talk about James Henley Thornwell,…
Samuel C. Smith
November 2, 2022

The True Cause of the War Between the States

I have been studying the War Between the States for 53 years. In all those years, the one quotation I have read which summarizes the true reason for the differences between the North and the South which led to that war was stated by James Henley Thornwell (1812-1862). He was the President of Columbia Theological Seminary in Columbia, South Carolina,…
Timothy A. Duskin
July 8, 2021

Southern Orthodoxy

A review of Preachers with Power: Four Stalwarts of the South (Banner of Truth, 1992) by Douglas F. Kelly I first became aware of Douglas F. Kelly through some videos on YouTube in which he was interviewed about his recent book Creation and Change, a defense of the book of Genesis as authentic history. His erudition and his manner (that…
Karen Stokes
May 4, 2021
Review Posts

James Henley Thornwell and the Metaphysical Confederacy

A review of The Metaphysical Confederacy: James Henley Thornwell and the Synthesis of Southern Values (Second Edition; Macon, Georgia: Mercer University Press, 1999) by James Farmer The role of religion leading up to the War Between the States is sometimes overlooked. However, there is no question that Christian clergy had a major influence on the Old South, including the politics…
Zachary Garris
December 8, 2020

The Spirit of ’61

The bloody conflict of 1861 to 1865 is often called the Civil War, but most Southerners regarded it as a war for independence and self-government. Many if not most Confederate soldiers and officers who fought in it had fathers or grandfathers who served in the first American war of independence, and they were mindful of their heritage. Southerners were proud…
Karen Stokes
July 4, 2018

The Antebellum South in the Reformation Tradition

On October 31, while many parents whisk their little ones from house to house in the pursuit of temporal tasty treats, a large portion of Christendom will be observing the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, a movement which arguably changed the very course of Western Civilization up through the present. Many Protestant denominations, seminaries, churches, and para-church organizations are…
Jonathan Harris
October 30, 2017
Clyde Wilson Library

Scholars’ Statement in Support of the Confederate Flag (2000)

Statement of College and University Professors in Support of the Confederate Battle Flag Atop the South Carolina Statehouse, drafted just before the legislative "compromise." To the General Assembly and People of South Carolina: Certain academics have issued a statement on the cause of the Civil War as it relates to the controversy over the Confederate battle flag. They held a…
Clyde Wilson
November 18, 2015
Review Posts

James Henley Thornwell and Southern Religion

The God-fearing, Bible-reading, hymn-singing Confederate army grew out of a Southern soil well cultivated during the long struggle of countless, if largely unsung, preachers to civilize a harsh and violent frontier. Personal piety and Bible-centered family circles bolstered the churches in a successful effort to shape the regional culture. The churches assumed responsibility for the education, especially moral, of the…
Eugene Genovese
May 5, 2015
Clyde Wilson Library

What to Say About Dixie?

What to say in brief compass about the South?—a subject that is worthy of the complete works of a Homer, a Shakespeare, or a Faulkner. The South is a geographical/historical/cultural reality that has provided a crucial source of identity for millions of people for three centuries. Long before there was an entity known as "the United States of America." there…
Clyde Wilson
April 8, 2015

Our Danger and Our Duty

Acclaimed in his time as the “Calhoun of the Church,” James Henley Thornwell was a prominent Presbyterian clergyman of South Carolina and one of the state’s greatest men in the nineteenth century. Like many Southerners, he cherished the Union, but came to accept the necessity of secession. Before he died in 1862, in one of his last writings, Our Danger…
Karen Stokes
November 11, 2014
Review Posts

The Real Old Time Religion

People in the South who are intuitively attuned to its culture and history suspect that what passes for popular, evangelical religion in the region is not precisely what it has been in the past. Besides the fact that the South, like other parts of the country, is slowly giving in to the forces of secularism, those states from Maryland to…
A. J. Conyers
October 20, 2014