Religious enthusiasm in the new world : heresy to revolution /
David S. Lovejoy.
Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, 1985.
viii, 291 p.
0674758641 (alk. paper)
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Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, 1985.
0674758641 (alk. paper)
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Includes bibliographical references and index.
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Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1985-11:
The interpretative framework Lovejoy imposes makes this volume a substantial contribution to early American religious history. A number of scholars have explored individually the sectarian groups that he moves through rather rapidly. Lovejoy's emphasis is the common thread that unites religious enthusiasts, whatever their label or chronology. They were people who ``practiced a personal experimental religion which hinged, they believed, on direct revelation.'' Some of the names are familiar, but many other enthusiasts are unfamiliar, and often dealt with in tantalizingly brief sketches: Pieter Plockhoy, the Labadists, the Rosicrucians, and the Dutartres. But familiar or unfamiliar, the results were basically the same. Enthusiasts were met with hostility and persecution by the societies they confronted. Perceived as threats-to established religion, sexual morality, private property, and class structure-the sectarians often lived up to the worst fears of society. Across the time and space of Colonial America, through the faces changed, the enthusiast themes of subversion and countersubversion remained the same. This is a useful volume and belongs in any good academic library. It is well written, has excellent footnotes (though no bibliography), and is a mine of marvelous quotations. Appropriate for graduate students and upper-division undergraduates.-R.G. Pope, SUNY at Buffalo
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, November 1985
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