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The Republican Character of Antebellum American Religion

Abstract

The young scholars who proposed a dialogue between John Modern and myself, and who then contributed sparkling insights of their own to that dialogue, deserve hearty thanks. They have taken seriously the main arguments, along with many of the details, in Modern's Secularism in Antebellum America and my America's God: From Jonathan Edwards to Abraham Lincoln. In so doing, they spotlighted lacunae, advanced new perspectives, and proposed the best kind of questions for probing the complicated religious-political-personal-social-economic relationships in antebellum America. I am particularly indebted to them for pointing out aspects of my work that require clarification and for helping me see more clearly what John Modern's work accomplished.

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1 J.C.D. Clark, English Society, 1660–1832: Religion, Ideology, and Politics During the Ancien Regime (New York: Cambridge University, 2000): Boyd Hilton, The Age of Atonement: The Influence of Evangelicalism on Social and Economic Thought, 1795–1865 (New York: Oxford University, 1988); Stewart J. Brown, Thomas Chalmers and the Godly Commonwealth in Scotland (New York: Oxford University, 1982); Michael Gauvreau, The Evangelical Century: College and Creed in English Canada from the Great Revival to the Great Depression (Montreal: McGill-Queen's University, 1991).

2 See Noll and Carolyn Nystrom, Clouds of Witnesses: Christian Voices from Africa and Asia (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity, 2011), 145 (Azariah); Mark A. Noll, The New Shape of World Christianity (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity, 2009), 183–184 (Nsibambi and Church).

3 Daniel Walker Howe, The Political Culture of the American Whigs (Chicago: University of Chicago, 1979); Howe, What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America (New York: Oxford University, 2007); Allen C. Guelzo, Abraham Lincoln as a Man of Ideas (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University, 2009); Richard Carwardine, Evangelicals and Politics in Antebellum America (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University, 1993); Jonathan J. Den Hartog, Patriotism and Piety: Federalist Politics and Religious Struggle in the New American Nation (Charlottesville: University of Virginia, 2014); Nathan O. Hatch, The Democratization of American Christianity (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University, 1989); Amanda Porterfield, Conceived in Doubt: Religion and Politics in the New American Nation (Chicago: University of Chicago, 2012); Eric R. Schlereth, An Age of Infidels: The Politics of Religious Controversy in the Early United States (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania, 2013); Sam Haselby, The Origins of American Religious Nationalism (New York: Oxford University, 2015).

4 See Noll, The Civil War as a Theological Crisis (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina, 2007), 91, 145-155.

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Church History
  • ISSN: 0009-6407
  • EISSN: 1755-2613
  • URL: /core/journals/church-history
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