Awash in a Sea of Faith: Christianizing the American People / Edition 1 available in Paperback
Awash in a Sea of Faith ranges from popular piety to magic, from anxious revolutionary war chaplains to the cool rationalism of James Madison, from divining rods and seer stones to Anglican and Unitarian elites, and from Virginia Anglican occultists and Presbyterians raised from the dead to Jonathan Edwards, Joseph Smith, and Abraham Lincoln. Butler deftly comes to terms with conventional themes such as Puritanism, witchcraft, religion and revolution, revivalism, millenarianism, and Mormonism. His elucidation of Christianity’s powerful role in shaping slavery and of a subsequent African spiritual “holocaust,” with its ironic result in African Christianization, is an especially fresh and incisive account.
Awash in a Sea of Faith reveals the proliferation of American religious expressionnot its declineand stresses the creative tensions between pulpit and pew across three hundred years of social maturation. Striking in its breadth and deeply rooted in primary sources, this seminal book recasts the landscape of American religious and cultural history.
About the Author
Table of Contents
Introduction: Religion in the American Past
1. The European Religious Heritage
2. The Crisis of Christian Practice in America
3. Magic and the Occult
4. The Renewal of Christian Authority
5. Slavery and the African Spiritual Holocaust
6. The Plural Origins of American Revivalism
7. A Revolutionary Millennium?
8. Toward the Antebellum Spiritual Hothouse
9. Christian Power in the American Republic
Conclusion: Lincoln and the Almost Chosen People