Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in Southern Studies


Southern Studies

First Advisor

Charles Reagan Wilson

Second Advisor

Kathryn McKee

Third Advisor

Ted Ownby

Relational Format



This thesis provides a contextual description and analysis of four southern fast day sermons delivered in the winter of 1860-61 by the following Presbyterian ministers: James Henley Thornwell (South Carolina), Benjamin Morgan Palmer (Louisiana), Robert Lewis Dabney (Virginia), and Robert Jefferson Breckinridge (Kentucky). The introduction provides a short history of the practice of communal fasting, a brief review of serscholarship, and a description of the book, Fast Day Sermons (1861), in which these four sermons were published. Each chapter centers on a different sermon, providing information on the venue in which the serwas delivered, a biographical sketch of the specific minister, a description of the socio-political context and events that led to a fast day proclamation, an analysis of the sertext, and an account of the media coverage the serreceived. The conclusion draws attention to the need for further scholarly investigation of this particular sergenre.

Included in

History Commons



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