By Timothy D. Hall
This ebook expands our realizing of evangelical itinerancy within the 1740s via viewing it in the context of Britain’s increasing advertisement empire. As professional- and anti-revivalists attempted to form a burgeoning transatlantic customer society, the itinerancy of the nice Awakening seems to be the following as a forceful problem to modern assumptions in regards to the position of people inside of their social international and the function of proficient leaders as regulators of conversation, order, and alter. the main celebrated of those itinerants was once George Whitefield, an English minister who made unheard of excursions during the colonies. in accordance with corridor, the actions of the itinerants, together with Whitefield, inspired within the colonists an openness past neighborhood limitations to an increasing array of decisions for trust and behaviour in an more and more cellular and pluralistic society. within the method, it solid a brand new version of the church and its social world.
As a reaction to and a resource of dynamic social switch, itinerancy in Hall’s robust account presents a prism for viewing anew the worldly and otherworldly variations of colonial society. Contested Boundaries may be of curiosity to scholars and students of colonial American historical past, spiritual experiences, and cultural and social anthropology.
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Additional info for Contested Boundaries: Itinerancy and the Reshaping of the Colonial American Religious World
Denominational distinctions 36 I TINERANCY IN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE blurred as people from every imaginable group thronged together to seek the New Birth. The circle of those who had shared a conversion experience under Whitefield's preaching widened as he carried the message to the furthest reaches of the British dominions. His aggressive use of the press further intensified a sense of communion among distant strangers who read reports of other revivals or heard them repeated from pulpits throughout the Empire.
The localism that did emerge in the Middle Colonies centered as much on ethnic as on territorial boundaries. Even in eighteenth-century New England, the integrity of Congregational parishes was eroding under a steady influx of competing sectarians and Anglican missionaries. The general courts of Massachusetts and Connecticut had extended grudging toleration to Baptists, Quakers, and Anglicans in the late seventeenth century. By 1729 the parish rates for members of those persuasions were being assigned to their own rather than the Congregational ministers.
In so doing, they elevated it to the status of a conceptual category: a metaphor for a new and unsettling vision of a society whose realization they hoped to prevent at all costs. 2 THE MEN ACE OF I TINERANCY I CLERICAL "OPPOSERS" OF THE revival quickly came to regard itinerancy as a fundamental challenge to their place in the community and their role as guardians of the social order. This perception soon gave rise to a discourse of opposition which represented itinerancy as an engine of social upheaval.