Religion in Arkansas: History and Heritage
Exploring the diverse nature of religion in Arkansas, this exhibit illuminates the role religion has played in Arkansas history from the earliest settlement of several Protestant groups in the region.
This exhibit from the Special Collections Department exploring the diverse nature of religion in Arkansas is on display in the hallway cases on the first floor of Mullins Library. The exhibit, curated by Lead Processing Archivist Todd Lewis, illuminates the role religion has played in Arkansas history with displays illustrating the earliest settlement of several Protestant groups in the region, including Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, and others, as well as Catholic missions and Jewish settlers from the first half of the nineteenth century.
Exhibit highlights include a glimpse of how African American denominations that developed separately from white denominations in a state where the law maintained the color line through the latter half of the twentieth century. Also featured is the historic Dwight Mission established in 1820 to minister to the Western Cherokee in Arkansas, as well as Arkansas's many denominational schools and colleges. Selections concerning the adoption of the state's law banning the teaching of evolution in public schools in 1928 and the Civil Rights struggle of the 1950s and 1960s reveal the role religion has played in times of social disruption in Arkansas. A final section is devoted to new directions in religion in Arkansas, including non-traditional interpretations of Christianity and the appearance of non-Western religions in the state.
The exhibit will be on display through Summer 2012.
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