Spreading the Gospel in Colonial Virginia
Sermons and Devotional Writings
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Publisher: Lexington Books
Number of Pages: 256
Width: 16.4 cm
Height: 23.4 cm
Due to a perceived lack of resources, historians of colonial-era Virginia have generally heaped their attention on regional politics and virtually ignored the area's rich religious history. Even at a time of revived interest in Virginia's religious atmosphere, few scholars have opted to examine what is perhaps one of the region's most valuable primary resources: sermon literature. With an extensive introduction that fully chronicles as well as contextualizes the practice of religion and church activities in early America, Edward L. Bond offers a reappraisal of religion's place in the colonies. Through his compilation of previously unpublished and largely unexamined sermons, he is able to shape a picture of colonial Virginia's religious environment that is unparalleled in both its depth and scope. The sermons appear as they do in the original, with all notes and marginalia intact. Bond's own notes provide definitions of obscure words and terms, explanations of arcane allusions, and references for unattributed citations. His commentary vastly enriches our appreciation not only of the texts, but also of their writers and the important role these clergymen played in shaping the young nation. By bringing together this variety of important sources, some of which are new to even the most established scholars of colonial Virginia, this collection fills a true void in both religious and historical scholarship.
Ed Bond's chapter on the history of the church in Virginia will become the best piece of scholarship on the subject. I am very impressed. -- Joan R. Gundersen, Vice President for Policy & Planning, Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh Ed Bond's work will accomplish a number of things. This volume will make an important and unfamiliar body of sources much more readily available and considerably revise our understanding of the force of religion in the Virginia colony, where religious belief and practice has usually been perceived as rather lackadaisical. The volume will almost call attention as well to the richness of the Colonial Williamsburg manuscript and rare book collections in the area of religion. -- Thad Tate, Murden Professor of Humanities Emeritus, College of William and Mary Ed Bond is one of the few historians of the rising generation to focus on the significance of religion in the Virginia Colony. In recent decades, though, this subject has not only been neglected as a subject of study, its place in formulating a full understanding of Virginia society, in all its complexity, has also been widely ignored. This book will begin to correct that imbalance. The breadth of documents included in the text will give students of early America access to primary materials that will enable them to understand Virginia more fully than is presently possible. Ed bond makes a much-needed step to correct the curious neglect of the study of religion that characterizes modern Virginia scholarship. -- Nelson D. Lankford, Virginius Dabney Editor of the Virginia Magazine of History and Biography The book is really excellent and recommended to anyone with an interest in religion in colonial America. Anglican and Episcopal History In assembling this fine collection of sermons and other primary source documents, Ed Bond has provided a treasure for teachers and students of colonial religious history. There is nothing like this in print for the southern colonies. This invaluable collection of previously unpublished sermons and other documents bearing on colonial religion demonstrates the religious diversity within the colonial South as well as the theological ability and pastoral acumen of its religious leadership. -- Thomas E. Buckley, S.J., professor of American religious history, Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley/Graduate Theological Union