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By the Rivers of Water: A Nineteeenth-Century Atlantic Odyssey (Englisch) Audio-CD – Audiobook, 8. Oktober 2013

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Audio-CD, Audiobook, 8. Oktober 2013
EUR 1.128,46
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-- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: MP3 CD.
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“If Seamus Heaney digs with his pen, Erskine Clarke casts his like an expert fly fisherman. In this book, By the Rivers of Water, chapters end with sharp forebodings of what lurks around the next bend.... Right when we find ourselves comfortable..., Clarke casts his line into deeper and darker waters.”

Thomas Kidd, Patheos
“Remarkable.... Clarke is one of the most gifted historians of American religion, with particular mastery of the antebellum southern Christian mind.... Clarke probes deeply and sympathetically into the culture of the Africans whom the Wilsons were seeking to evangelize, and does not shy away from addressing the sometimes brutal realities of both American and African societies in the nineteenth century.”

Books and Culture
“Most Americans hold firmly to the modern myth of self-renovation. We believe that anyone can slip off the deep rhythms of their earliest influences and become something else, something better. Among these influences, the power of a particular place — its geography, people, and customs — is perhaps the least well understood and the most deeply consequential. Erskine Clarke’s latest book is about the power of another river in another place...and the story Clarke has to tell casts doubt on the question of whether we can ever escape our own histories or the places we come from.”

Dallas Morning News
“[An] engrossing, elegantly written history…[Clarke] deserves another Bancroft for By the Rivers of Water, a memorable book.”

Religion In American History
“Erskine Clarke may very well be the best writer of narrative working in American religious history."

Library Journal, starred review
“Brimming with insights about interconnected individuals, peoples, and societies struggling with conscience and dignity to make moral choices amid clashing, if not collapsing, worlds, this work is required reading for anyone interested in a sympathetic understanding of early U.S. missionaries in West Africa, the perils of the U.S. colonization movement, Civil War tensions, or Atlantic world connections.”

Publishers Weekly
“An original history that tells the engrossing story of two white missionaries and their often stormy relations with their mostly black fellow countrymen, against the background of America descending into Civil War.”

“A sinuously nuanced pursuit of a Southern Christian missionary couple’s conflicted journey from slaveholding Savannah, Ga., to West Africa. In the thoroughgoing fashion of his Bancroft Prize–winning Dwelling Place (2005), religion historian Clarke devotes enormous care to delineating every aspect of the world known to his protagonists: Jane Bayard, from Savannah, and John Leighton Wilson, from Black River, S.C…. A florid yet thorough and compelling history of missionary work and the 19th-century African-American experience both in America and abroad.”

“Clarke offers a complex portrait [of] the countervailing forces of the nineteenth century as America grappled with the profound contradictions of slavery.”

Robert Harms, Yale University, author of The Diligent: Worlds of the Slave Trade
“This is Atlantic history at its best. The missionary travels of John Leighton and Jane Wilson open a window onto one of the major contradictions in the nineteenth-century Atlantic world, where slave ships from Africa crossed paths with ships carrying freed American slaves back to Africa. Such contradictions were reflected in the internal struggles of John Leighton Wilson himself, who freed his own slaves in Georgia and fought a twenty-year battle against the slave traders on the coast of Africa, but still found his loyalties strangely torn by the American Civil War. We hear the voices of white and black missionaries, African American settlers, and African chiefs and merchants, all bound together in their quest to create a new kind of community based on freedom and their Christian faith.”

Lacy Ford, University of South Carolina, author of Deliver Us From Evil: The Slavery Question in the Old South
“A worthy successor to his award-winning Dwelling Places, Erskine Clarke’s By the Rivers of Water tells an epic tale of the nineteenth-century white Protestant mission to Africa and its relationship to issues of slavery and the slave trade in the United States. The primary protagonists in Clarke’s compelling narrative are two well-born white southerners, John Leighton Wilson and his wife Jane Bayard Wilson, who possessed intimate first-hand knowledge of American slavery, and whose discomfort with slavery helped guide them to missionary work. With a rarely-matched sensitivity and unsurpassed knowledge of his subject, Clarke has written a must-read account of the effort to Christianize both recently colonized ex-slaves from the United States and native African tribes on that continent’s west coast. Clarke has given us a riveting story that not only places the white missionary effort in the broadest possible perspective but also reveals how much white Americans contested and contorted views of slavery and racism in the antebellum republic. With this volume, Clarke enhances once again his stature as a pre-eminent historian of American religion and American slavery.”

Jacqueline Jones, author of Labor of Love, Labor of Sorrow
“With a novelist’s dramatic flair, Erskine Clarke examines a group of American Protestant missionaries who, in the 1830s, made the arduous journey to West Africa, where they sought to evangelize among various indigenous groups. In the process these Americans had surprising encounters with coastal merchants, African-American colonists, and traffickers in slaves. By the Rivers of Water seamlessly blends the history of religion, slavery, African colonization, and the South Carolina and Georgia Lowcountry to give us a compelling account of transatlantic connections among people and ideas; in the process this finely wrought story illuminates the complex political forces that shaped both the United States and West Africa.”

Dan Carter, University of South Carolina, author of Scottsboro: A Tragedy of the American South
“Erskine Clark’s By the Rivers of Water rescues the story of protestant missionaries in Africa before the Civil War from what has often been a historical footnote. Clarke has written a riveting account of missionaries John and Jane Wilson and their encounters with the indigenous people of west Africa and with free African Americans seeking escape from American slavery and racism. And in giving voice to their beliefs, hopes, and fears, he has created a remarkable window into many of the central struggles of nineteenth-century America.”
-- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: MP3 CD.

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Erskine Clarke is Professor Emeritus of American Religious History at Columbia Theological Seminary and author of Dwelling Place, Wrestlin’ Jacob, and Our Southern Zion. The recipient of Columbia University’s Bancroft Prize for Dwelling Place, as well as many other awards, he has served as a Visiting Fellow at Clare Hall College, University of Cambridge, and has lectured at Yale University, the University of Virginia, Wesley Theological Seminary, and Queens College, University of London.
-- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: MP3 CD.


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Amazon.com: 4.8 von 5 Sternen 9 Rezensionen
6 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Review of By the Rivers of Water by Douglas M. Carpenter 8. November 2013
Von Douglas Carpenter - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
In addition to By the Rivers of Water being a compelling story, it is a very important book about human nature and the power that cultures and environments have upon it. It also brings much understanding of the Atlantic Highways of the 19th century, race relations, slavery, missionary activity, and the Civil War. Erskine Clarke has a very sensitive and engaging style of writing. - Douglas M. Carpenter
5.0 von 5 Sternen This book complements both American Tapestry and Warmth of Other ... 28. Oktober 2014
Von Cal Engstorm - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
This book complements both American Tapestry and Warmth of Other Suns, through a rich and detailed account of the influence of slavery, colonization and the missionary movement on 19th century American social and economic history.
5 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen An historical account of the missionary endeavors of Leighton and Jane Wilson 1. Februar 2014
Von Heidi'sbooks - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Right off the bat I want to say that this is a 5 star book. I've never seen or read anything like it. Seriously, it's almost a new genre. It is a history book; it's a missionary biography; it's micro-history; it's expansive history. I've read a lot of missionary biographies; I've read a lot of history books; but I've never read the two genres so closely intertwined.

Clarke wrote a densely-written, historical account of the missionary endeavors of John Leighton and Jane Wilson into West Africa. That's the framework of the book, but it is also an historical documentation of the African-American colonies in Liberia and Gabon, the Gullah people on the coast of Georgia, the beginnings of African-American churches in South Carolina, and an historical look at the Atlantic highway in the years immediately preceding and during the Civil War. Absolutely fascinating.

Leighton and Jane both came from large plantation and slave owning families in the deep south. This is their story of how they came together, and how Jane established schools in Africa, while Leighton fought the International Slave Trade and colonization, and translated portions of the Bible into Grebo and Mpongwe. However, when the Civil War started Leighton and Jane moved to the south to stand with their family.

The author takes Leighton to task for departing from his moral vision after the Civil War. I probably would have cut him more slack. Given the fact that Leighton's family were plantation owners, he had to overcome a lot of cultural biases against going to Africa in the first place. Schools and reading were against the law for slaves, yet he gave his life to those tasks. I guess we all wish that the Civil War didn't produce so much bitterness in the aftermath.

This book shows incredible scholarship and documentation. Nearly every paragraph references letters, books, historical societies, Colonization Papers, court records, archives of churches, etc.

Highly recommended.

Pages: 378, plus 50 pages of documentation
Author: Erskine Clarke
Published: Basic Books, October 2013
9 von 10 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen A life of contradictions 7. Oktober 2013
Von David Wineberg - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
While very much the story of Christian Missions to Africa, and the spread of Christianity in Africa, the contradictions, both inherent and imposed, become the real central character of Erskine Clarke's biography of Leighton and Jane Wilson.

Our heroes are classically in denial of who they are: wealthy, entitled liberal patrons. Stateside, while declaring their anti-slavery stance, they debate whether their slaves have it within them to exist without their beneficent patronage. This despite the fact the slaves know and practice all the trades, build their own communities, and put up with incredible brutality of their enlightened masters. Then, when the Wilsons go to West Africa where ex-slaves are setting up colonies, they must ignore the constant passage of overloaded slaveships, carrying millions more bewildered natives to Cuban and Jamaican sugar plantations, American cotton and tobacco farms, and lifelong misery. The missionaries also have to ignore the natives' own established religions and customs as they try to convert them to Christianity. Even when they do, the Africans don't abandon their ways. They simply incorporate Christianity into their culture. The willful blinkers of the missionaries is stunning; they did great work despite their inner conflicts.

To their credit, they quickly understood that American ex-slaves would not naturally mix with native Africans, and that there would be trouble between them. They also realized the "colony" had no legal authority, and that their Mission should be as far away as possible from it. After seven years, it got so bad they moved to another country, Gabon, to get away from the colonists, who were treating the natives just like the Americans treated native Americans. They had vigilante gangs who would do credit to the Klan. They were also trading with the slavers, which thoroughly disgusted the missionaries. They were creating an authentic copy of the USA in Africa. But then, it turns out the basis for this entire adventure was racist all along.

Their sponsor, the American Colonization Society and its state offshoots were secretly all about "whitening" America. They received state funding to help control and reduce the number of blacks in the states. When the number of blacks increased anyway, it caused exposure, a scandal, reduction in funding, and repercussions in the colonies. It was all about getting blacks out of the USA, nothing more. For a sincere Christian missionary, this took some rationalizing.

With the Wilsons back in the USA, the Civil War broke out, and they were torn between taking a stand, defending their southern homeland and being religiously apolitical. It was one thing to be against slavery, but quite another to go to war to enforce it. Leighton left his New York position in the Presbyterian Church, moved back to the south to help found the Presbyterian Church of the Confederate States of America, which by definition was politically motivated and defined, and against the principles of universal Christianity. Then after the war, he had to fight the invasion of the northern division of his (former) church, as well as blacks fleeing in entire congregations to create their own churches.

Meanwhile in Liberia, the natives had learned from their Western missionaries and organized armies to battle the American colonists - singing Christian hymns as they marched. In the mission schools, black teachers received less pay than whites, despite repeated inquiries and protests - which were simply ignored. This eventually led to a split and a new church in Gabon.

The Wilsons were absolutely the ideal couple for the job. They both wanted it passionately, were willing to put up with all the rigors and challenges of darkest Africa, were enormously patient and flexible, and schooled whole generations, whose parents knew the value of foreign languages and customs - in advance. Leighton Wilson's priority was to master local languages, while Jane promoted English. Leighton created alphabets and dictionaries, and translated scriptures. He became as much an ethnographer as a missionary, publishing his works to great acclaim. But he was justifiably torn by what he was doing. Wherever they went, they did good work, but they also sowed the seeds of future unrest and endless struggle in a land already reeling from the bad influence of European slavers. These went from rum to syphilis to torture, and much in between.

One of the Wilsons' greatest successes was with an ex slave named BVR James. They encouraged him, educated him and trained him, and he became the printer for their works in Africa, publishing tens and hundreds of thousands of pages a year in Liberia. He went on to government positions, recognition and respect. His perception of the whole contradiction is eloquent: "How true it is, the greater the injury done to the injured, the greater the hatred of those who have done the injury!"

David Wineberg
5.0 von 5 Sternen Must Read for Those Interested in Learning More About Slavery and Religion in the American South, and in Repatriation to Liberia 17. Oktober 2016
Von Linda R. Montgomery - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Written by Hank, husband of Linda.

After over-extending my library time (and paying the fine) I ordered my own copy of this book. How might I propose to supply a better recommendation?!?

Upon beginning my read, I was instantly drawn into the story and was soon astounded by the amount of time the author spent in research. I am also amazed by the sheer volume of extant sources he unearthed for two missionaries who died, at a then-advanced age, in South Carolina's present Low Country/Piedmont farming areas near the headwaters of the Black River (even today almost "in the middle of nowhere"; miles from the nearest town).

And those observations don't begin to express my admiration of the author's skill in weaving his research into a clear picture of the lives involved; how two Presbyterian missionaries put their lives on-the-line In His Service, and how those two lives were intertwined with the lives of family-held slaves in South Carolina and Georgia (pre-and-post "War Between the States").
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