Under the cope of heaven : religion, society, and politics in Colonial America /
Patricia U. Bonomi.
New York : Oxford University Press, 1986.
xii, 291 p. : ill. ; 22 cm.
0195041186 (alk. paper)
More Details
New York : Oxford University Press, 1986.
0195041186 (alk. paper)
general note
Includes index.
catalogue key
Bibliography: p. 223-279.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1987-05:
Bonomi's volume is richer in conception and intention than in execution. The author set as her task an examination of ``the religious sociology of all the colonies over a very extended period of time.'' Her premise is important. She claims that religious adherence in the century and a half before the American Revolution was far higher and far more important to individuals than historians have recognized. Bonomi's challenge has particular relevance for the Revolutionary generation in making the religious ``connection'' between America's dissenting denominations and the political movement of rebellion. Disappointment with this work concerns the extent to which it is derived from secondary sources and from the impressionistic use of anecdote and recollection. It does not have the substance the preface promises. But it is a book that belongs in undergraduate library collections for several reasons: first, because it is well written, interesting, and broad in its chronological and geographical coverage; second, because its footnotes are a first-rate guide to religion in colonial America; and third, because her thesis enables us to see the continuing force of religious belief in defining American society.-R.G. Pope, SUNY at Buffalo
This item was reviewed in:
Kirkus Reviews,
Choice, May 1987
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Long Description
In this pathbreaking study, a prominent colonial historian argues that religion was as instrumental as either politics or the economy in shaping early American life and values. Looking at Puritan New England as well as at the middle and southern colonies, Bonomi finds an abundance of religious vitality throughout the colonial years among clergy and churchgoers of diverse religious backgrounds. The book focuses on 18th-century religious activity, when churches stabilized and extended their influence to all parts of the colonies, and examines the everyday life of the clergy, the tension between religious competition and religious toleration, and the attitudes and practices of churchgoers from every rank and region. The book also explores the tightening relationship between religion and politics--especially evident in the schisms of the Great Awakening, the growth of denominational factions, and the emergence of an "ideology of dissent"--and illuminates the vital role religion played in the American Revolution. Written with grace and style, Under the Cope of Heaven presents a stimulating new perspective on the formative era of American religious culture.

This information is provided by a service that aggregates data from review sources and other sources that are often consulted by libraries, and readers. The University does not edit this information and merely includes it as a convenience for users. It does not warrant that reviews are accurate. As with any review users should approach reviews critically and where deemed necessary should consult multiple review sources. Any concerns or questions about particular reviews should be directed to the reviewer and/or publisher.

  link to old catalogue

Report a problem