Tears of Repentance revisits and reexamines the familiar stories of intercultural encounters between Protestant missionaries and Native peoples in southern New England from the seventeenth to the early nineteenth centuries. Focusing on Protestant missionaries’ accounts of their ideals, purposes, and goals among the Native communities they served and of the religion as lived, experienced, and practiced among Christianized Indians, Julius H. Rubin offers a new way of understanding the motives and motivations of those who lived in New England’s early Christianized Indian village communities.
Rubin explores how Christian Indians recast Protestant theology into an Indianized quest for salvation from their worldly troubles and toward the promise of an otherworldly paradise. The Great Awakening of the eighteenth century reveals how evangelical pietism transformed religious identities and communities and gave rise to the sublime hope that New Born Indians were children of God who might effectively contest colonialism. With this dream unfulfilled, the exodus from New England to Brothertown envisioned a separatist Christian Indian commonwealth on the borderlands of America after the Revolution.
Tears of Repentance is an important contribution to American colonial and Native American history, offering new ways of examining how Native groups and individuals recast Protestant theology to restore their Native communities and cultures.
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About the Author
Table of Contents
List of Tables vii
1 Praying Towns and Praying-to-God Indians 19
2 The Penitential Sense of Life 39
3 The Pattern of Religious Paternalism in Eighteenth-Century Christian Indian Communities 77
4 Samson Occom and Evangelical Christian Indian Identity 114
5 The Stockbridge and New Jersey Brotherton Tribes 160
6 The Moravian Missions to Shekomeko and Pachgatgoch 197
7 Errand into the Borderlands 138
8 Frontier Rendezvous 269
Appendix A Religion and Red Power 309
Appendix B A Note on Indiantowns 313