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By Jonathan D. Sassi

This booklet examines the controversy over the relationship among faith and public lifestyles in society in the course of the fifty years following the yank Revolution. Sassi demanding situations the normal knowledge, discovering a necessary continuity to the period's public Christianity, while such a lot earlier reports have obvious this era as one within which the nation's cultural paradigm shifted from republicanism to liberal individualism. targeting the Congregational clergy of recent England, he demonstrates that all through this era there have been american citizens fascinated by their company future, protecting a dedication to developing a righteous neighborhood and assessing the cosmic that means of the yankee scan.

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Additional resources for A Republic of Righteousness: The Public Christianity of the Post-Revolutionary New England Clergy

Sample text

5 The source of this historiographical tradition, more so than Peter Thacher, is no less a towering figure than Lyman Beecher. 6 When religion revived in the Second Great Awakening, sectarian newcomers chiefly benefited. Sometimes this conventional chronology serves denominational purposes. 7 However, one must avoid the fallacy of overemphasizing the significance of future trends in their preceding time period. There is a rush to the explanatory thesis of “democratization” in the post-Revolutionary period.

These divisions, which would split the denomination and sap its strength in the first quarter of the nineteenth century, were now mostly latent, but festering. Since the 1730s at least, due to the influence of the Enlightenment, Arminianism had been seeping into New England thought and undermining its historical, Calvinist foundations. The contest between grace and works in New England theology exploded in the Great Awakening of the 1740s and pitted the Congregational clergy against one another in Old Light and New Light factions.

The injustice of the situation was compounded by the New England clergy’s patriotic support of the Revolution. ”1 In Thacher’s eyes, the established ministry stood ill prepared to exercise similar leadership in the early republic. Historians have tended to agree with Peter Thacher’s assessments. 2 Thacher’s pamphlet gives two more impressions, both of which have left their mark on the secondary literature on religion in the early republic. Historians have used remarks like his to depict the Congregational clergy as in a steep decline in the post-Revolutionary years.

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