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, the American Revolution, and the second flowering of popular religion in the nineteenth century.
Tracing the female spiritual tradition through the Puritans, Baptists and Shakers, Westerkamp argues that religious beliefs and structures were actually a strong empowering force for women.
'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 Bulletin1n
'An excellent introduction to the recent literature dealing with its subject, while shedding valuable new light on the experience of women in the early modern period.' - Ecclesiastical History
'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
'Catherine A. Breckus's excellent monograph is the first to explore a forgotten worl of female evangelists.' - American Studies