Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Religious Experience and Religious Communities in US History
The Democratization of American Christianity by
Publication Date: 1991-01-23
"Rarely do works of scholarship deserve as much attention as this one. The so-called Second Great Awakening was the shaping epoch of American Protestantism, and this book is the most important study of it ever published."--James Turner, Journal of Interdisciplinary History Winner of the John Hope Franklin Publication Prize, the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic book prize, and the Albert C. Outler Prize In this provocative reassessment of religion and culture in the early days of the American republic, Nathan O. Hatch argues that during this period American Christianity was democratized and common people became powerful actors on the religious scene. Hatch examines five distinct traditions or mass movements that emerged early in the nineteenth century--the Christian movement, Methodism, the Baptist movement, the black churches, and the Mormons--showing how all offered compelling visions of individual potential and collective aspiration to the unschooled and unsophisticated. "The most powerful, informed, and complex suggestion yet made about the religious, political, and psychic 'opening' of American life from Jefferson to Jackson. . . . Hatch's reconstruction of his five religious mass movements will add popular religious culture to denominationalism, church and state, and theology as primary dimensions of American religious history."--Robert M. Calhoon, William and Mary Quarterly "
Creating the Culture of Reform in Antebellum America by
Publication Date: 2006-02-01
Exploring the roots of early reform and activism in America. In this study, T. Gregory Garvey illustrates how activists and reformers claimed the instruments of mass media to create a freestanding culture of reform that enabled voices disfranchised by church or state to speak as equals in public debates over the nation's values. Competition among antebellum reformers in religion, women's rights, and antislavery institutionalized a structure of ideological debate that continues to define popular reform movements. The foundations of the culture of reform lie, according to Garvey, in the reconstruction of publicity that coincided with the religious-sectarian struggles of the early nineteenth century. To counter challenges to their authority and to retain church members, both conservative and liberal religious factions developed instruments of reform propaganda (newspapers, conventions, circuit riders, revivals) that were adapted by an emerging class of professional secular reformers in the women's rights and antislavery movements. Garvey argues that debate among the reformers created a mode of ""critical conversation"" through which reformers of all ideological persuasions collectively forged new conventions of public discourse as they struggled to shape public opinion. Focusing on debates between Lyman Beecher and William Ellery Channing over religious doctrine, Angelina Grimke and Catharine Beecher over women's participation in antislavery, and William Lloyd Garrison and Frederick Douglass over the ethics of political participation, Garvey argues that ""crucible-like sites of public debate"" emerged as the core of the culture of reform. To emphasize the redefinition of publicity provoked by antebellum reform movements, Garvey concludes the book with a chapter that presents Emersonian self-reliance as an effort to transform the partisan nature of reform discourse into a model of sincere public speech that affirms both self and community.
The Burned-Over District by
Publication Date: 1982-01-15
During the first half of the nineteenth century the wooded hills and the valleys of western New York State were swept by fires of the spirit. The fervent religiosity of the region caused historians to call it the "burned-over district."
Calling down Fire by
Publication Date: 2003-02-13
Explores how the agrarian setting of Jefferson County, New York, influenced the revival methods of Charles Grandison Finney, with implications for the study of revivalism more generally.
Life and Times of Frederick Douglass by
Publication Date: 2016-01-01
The illustrated version of America's most famous autobiography. Famous orator and former slave Frederick Douglass wrote the Life and Times of Frederick Douglass, an 1845 memoir and treatise on the abolition of slavery. In describing the facts of his life in clear and concise prose, he fueled the abolitionist movement of the early nineteenth century in the United States. In this seminal work, Douglass details the cruelty of slave holders, how slaves were supposed to behave in the presence of their masters, the fear that kept many slaves where they were, and the punishments received by any slave who dared to tell the truth about their treatment. He learned to read and write while still a slave but also suffered at the hands of whites. He was starved, worked the fields until he collapsed, was beaten for collapsing, was jailed for two years after planning an escape attempt, and nearly lost his left eye in an attack while he was an apprentice in a shipyard. Douglass succeeded in escaping to the North and finding his own freedom but kept many details of his journey a secret to protect those who helped him and, hopefully, allow others to escape. Augmented by large sidebars written by soldiers, statesmen, and abolitionists from the antebellum period, as well as pieces by well-known historians and prominent African-Americans, and some new pieces by current historians and writers, this richly illustrated edition of this classic American autobiography sheds new light on Douglass's famous text for a new generation of readers.