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Photo: “Honoring Confederate Veteran Lewis H Brown, one of eight Confedeate Veterans in the two Yellow Dirt Church Cemeteries on 8 October 2011 after original flags were illegally removed by Georgia Power,” by Ernest Evertt Blevins licensed under CC Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported. Hue modified from the original.

Reyes, Stefan Roel. “‘Christian Patriots’: The Intersection Between Proto-fascism and Clerical Fascism in the Antebellum South.” International Journal for History, Culture and Modernity 1, no. aop (2021): 1-29.


This article examines the convergence between clerical fascism and proto-fascism in the Antebellum South of the United States. The author employs Roger Griffin’s theories of palingenetic ultranationalism and clerical fascism to understand the worldviews of Southern intellectuals. The author argues that a cadre of Southern theologians rejected the liberal heritage of the United States and redefined the relationship between the individual and state. Southern clerical fascists reconceived of an alternative modernity that reflected God’s precepts. Slaves, laborers, and slave masters all had a mandate to guide secular and spiritual progress. Furthermore, these Southern clerics believed the best hope for securing God’s order was to be found in the birth of a new Southern society – the Confederate States of America. This study builds upon the works of other historians who discerned the illiberal and authoritarian qualities of the American South while also contributing to delineation of the protean qualities of clerical fascism.

The Illiberalism Studies Program studies the different faces of illiberal politics and thought in today’s world, taking into account the diversity of their cultural context, their intellectual genealogy, the sociology of their popular support, and their implications on the international scene.