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Among the many highlights of this year’s southeastern regional meeting of the American Academy of Religion was a panel review of Charles Reagan Wilson’s Flashes of a Southern Spirit: Meanings of the Spirit in the U.S. South. In this podcast, Art Remillard talks with Professor Wilson as well as two of the panelists, Anne Blue Wills of Davidson College and Rodger Payne of UNC-Ashville. Wilson is Kelly Gene Cook Senior Chair of History and Professor of Southern Studies at the University of Mississippi. He is the author of Baptized in Blood: The Religion of the Lost Cause, 1865-1920 and co-editor of The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture. In this discussion, the panelists consider how Wilson’s focus on “the spirit” might be used in analyzing everything from southern stereotypes on reality television to the unique religious culture of Italian Catholics in the region. Wilson concludes the conversation, reflecting on what the reviewers taught him about “the spirit.”

Amanda Porterfield reviewed Flashes of a Southern Spirit in volume 13 of the JSR.