Despite the prevalence of the Reformed, literal hermeneutic in the nineteenth century, a number of other interpretative strategies existed. These strategies were promoted by Roman Catholics, African Americans, church Protestants trying to maintain European traditions, and some conservative Presbyterian Calvinists. None of these groups succeeded in efforts to promote hermeneutical alternatives to the dominant Reformed, literal interpretation of the Bible. In addition, commonsense thinking about race exerted a largely unexamined, but very strong, influence on popular interpretations of the Scripture.
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