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Awash in a Sea of Faith: Christianizing the American People


reviewed by Virginia Lieson Brereton 1991

coverTitle: Awash in a Sea of Faith: Christianizing the American People
Author(s): Jon Butler
Publisher: Harvard University Press, Cambridge
ISBN: 0674056019, Pages: , Year: 1990
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Jon Butler sets out to persuade us that historically speaking Americans have been “awash” in different seas of faith than they may have thought. Using a wide-ranging definition of religion-“belief in and resort to superhuman powers, sometimes beings, that determine the course of natural and human events” (p. 3)-he explores such “seas” as magic and the occult and Afro- American religion. Other traditionally Christian seas of American religious historiography he seeks to cut down to size: seventeenth-century New England Puritanism, the eighteenth-century Protestant “Great Awakening,” and nineteenth-century revivals. New departures in American religious historiography are most welcome, and, after several decades of monographs that expand our notions of American religion without stopping to integrate them, the field certainly cries out for such magisterial visions as Butler’s. He covers a long period of time: from Europe at the time of the first North American migrations to about 1840. His chapters on magic... (preview truncated at 150 words.)


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 92 Number 4, 1991, p. 653-655
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 342, Date Accessed: 10/21/2017 10:57:27 PM

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