Women in Early American Religion, 1600-1850 explores the first two centuries of America's religious history, examining the relationship between the socio-political environment, gender, politics and religion
Drawing its background from women's religious roles and experiences in England during the Reformation, the book follows them through colonial settlement, the rise of evangelicalism with the 'great awakening', the American Revolution and the second flowering of popular religion in the first half of the nineteenth century.
Women in Early American Religion, 1600-1850 traces the female spiritual tradition through the Puritans, Baptists and Shakers, arguing that it was a strong empowering force for women.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgements -- 1 Women, the Spirit, and the Reformation -- PART I -- The Puritan heritage -- 2 Wives and mothers in the colonial New England landscape -- 3 Prophesying women: pushing the boundaries of patriarchy -- 4 The devil's minions -- PARTII -- The rise of evangelical religion -- 5 Witnesses to the New Light -- 6 Gender, revolution, and the Methodists -- 7 Domestic piety: mothers, missionaries, and the Holiness movement -- 8 The reformer's pulpit -- 9 Voices and silence: women, the Spirit, and the Enlightenment -- Notes -- Bibliographic essay: further reading and research projects -- Works cited in bibliographic essay -- Index.
Marilyn J. Westerkamp is Professor of History at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
'Its analysis of the changing interaction of women and religion suggests approaches and paradigms that are worthy of being tested by scholars throughout the North Atlantic world and beyond.' - Social History Bulletin
`A study which should quickly become the standard work on its subject, radically altering our understanding of America's religious past and adding new dimensions to our view of women's lives. - Louis Billington, University of Hull, Journal of American Studies, 2001
"I found the Critical Heritage volumes irreplaceable when I was in graduate school. It would be the labor of a lifetime to track down all the early reviews, comments, and criticism that these volumes rescue and pass along." - - John Van Hook, Bibliographer, Univeristy of Florida Libraries, Gainesville
'Written in clear prose with convincing arguments, Women and Religion in Early America supplies scholars with a useful and timely resource.' - Janet Moore Lindman, Rowan University