1st Edition

Women in Early American Religion 1600-1850 The Puritan and Evangelical Traditions

By Marilyn J. Westerkamp Copyright 1999
    230 Pages
    by Routledge

    240 Pages
    by Routledge

    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.

    Chapter 1 Women, the Spirit, and the Reformation; Part 1 Part I The Puritan heritage; Chapter 2 Wives and mothers in the colonial New England landscape; Chapter 3 Prophesying women; Chapter 4 The devil's minions; Part 2 Part II The rise of evangelical religion; Chapter 5 Witnesses to the New Light; Chapter 6 Gender, revolution, and the Methodists; Chapter 7 Domestic piety; Chapter 8 The reformer's pulpit; Chapter 9 Voices and silence; Notes; Bibliographic essayWorks cited in bibliographic essay and key primary source reprints; 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 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