Can We Be Saved?: Edward Owings Guerrant and the Mission Movement on the Cumberland Plateau, 1861-1916

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
John Aaron Akey (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:
Bruce Stewart

Abstract: The purpose of this thesis is to study Edward Guerrant’s influence on the benevolence movement in eastern Kentucky. The importance of this work lies in the historiographical revisions made regarding the mission movement and the development of Appalachian identity. Generally, Guerrant is portrayed in scholarly literature as a minor philanthropic figure. As a result, this paper emphasizes the vital role Guerrant played in the expansion of mission projects in Appalachia. Guerrant started by founding churches, congregations, and small schools, which primarily focused on individual salvation. However, he incorporated liberal theological philosophies and Progressive Era reforms to implement a comprehensive social uplift project that culminated with the formation of settlement schools. Guerrant supplemented the growth of his mountain work with promotion articles found in popular religious journals. The writings focused on the pure ethnicity of Appalachian people during a time of extreme xenophobic attitudes. The thesis uses all of Guerrant contributions to identity development, religiosity, and cultural and social change in the Mountain South to illustrate his importance as an altruistic demagogue.

Additional Information

Akey, J.A. (2012). Can We Be Saved?: Edward Owings Guerrant and the Mission Movement on the Cumberland Plateau, 1861-1916. Unpublished master’s thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2012
Edward Guerrant, Appalachia, Missionary, Presbyterian, Settlement Schools

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