A Republic of Righteousness: The Public Christianity of the by Jonathan D. Sassi

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By Jonathan D. Sassi

This publication examines the controversy over the relationship among faith and public existence in society through the fifty years following the yank Revolution. Sassi demanding situations the traditional knowledge, discovering an important continuity to the period's public Christianity, while so much past experiences have noticeable this era as one during which the nation's cultural paradigm shifted from republicanism to liberal individualism. concentrating on the Congregational clergy of latest England, he demonstrates that all through this era there have been american citizens enthusiastic about their company future, conserving a dedication to developing a righteous group and assessing the cosmic which means of the yankee scan.

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Extra info for A Republic of Righteousness: The Public Christianity of the Post-Revolutionary New England Clergy

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These two articles of the “Declaration of Rights” embodied a seeming contradiction. ” Yet in the next article, the constitution gave the legislature the power to restrain people’s wealth in order to support religion. Specifically, article 3 stated that “the people of this Commonwealth have a right to invest their legislature with power to authorize and require . . 10 The key to unlock the apparently contradictory tendencies of articles 2 and 3 lies in understanding that a Massachusetts citizen had both religious rights and duties.

Eventually, these eighteenth-century networks would provide one of the key foundations for nineteenthcentury missionary, benevolent, and reform societies and revivalism. Ever since the last decade of the seventeenth century, Massachusetts clergymen had been holding an annual convention. They scheduled it for the day after the general election because many of them would be in Boston then, and it provided another occasion to rub elbows with the political leadership. Ministers trekked to the capital from throughout the state.

1 In Thacher’s eyes, the established ministry stood ill prepared to exercise similar leadership in the early republic. Historians have tended to agree with Peter Thacher’s assessments. 2 Thacher’s pamphlet gives two more impressions, both of which have left their mark on the secondary literature on religion in the early republic. Historians have used remarks like his to depict the Congregational clergy as in a steep decline in the post-Revolutionary years. Confronted with a surge in religious dissenters, we are told, the old standing order appeared ossified and irrelevant.

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