Catalogue


The spice of popery : converging Christianities on an early American frontier /
Laura M. Chmielewski.
imprint
Notre Dame : University of Notre Dame Press, c2012.
description
xvi, 366 p. : ill., maps ; 23 cm.
ISBN
0268023077 (pbk. : alk. paper), 9780268023072 (pbk. : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Notre Dame : University of Notre Dame Press, c2012.
isbn
0268023077 (pbk. : alk. paper)
9780268023072 (pbk. : alk. paper)
contents note
Brief chronology : the province of Maine, 1688/1727 -- Introduction -- "The land that was desolate... shall flourish like the lily" : Christian diversity in early Maine -- "Satan's prey" or "l'esclavage de l'hérésie calviniste" : the imperial battles for Maine's frontier souls -- "Pits of hell" and "ménage des anges" : the Protestant dilemma of sacramental marriage -- The ways of Christian industry : missions and ministries on the Maine frontier -- Protestant ornaments and popish relics : Maine's material culture of lived religion -- "The Lord... will greatly reward me" : the religious dimensions of worldly goods -- Afterword.
catalogue key
8315252
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2012-08-01:
With this clearly written, deeply researched book on the Maine frontier from 1690 to 1730, historian Chmielewski (Purchase College, SUNY) makes a notable contribution to the burgeoning and fascinating literature on the North American colonial borderlands. Recent works on colonial frontiers from New Mexico to Nova Scotia depict convoluted, conflicted zones of cultural as well as military and economic contacts among various Native American, African, and European peoples. Tales of suffering, opportunity, and personal and social transformations abound. Besides adding another region to the emergent interpretation, the author develops an oft-neglected theme noted in the subtitle: "converging Christianities." Chmielewski's nuanced understanding of the relevant varieties of Catholicism and Protestantism, their commonalties as well as oppositions, should inspire other scholars of colonial America. The author's grasp of the social and political consequences and contexts of these religious expressions, including material culture, is also exemplary. The central focus on the varied experiences and decisions of New England captives in French Canada gives the analysis lively immediacy as well as abundant illustration of the author's main points. A remarkable book deserving wide readership. Summing Up: Essential. All academic levels/libraries. R. P. Gildrie emeritus, Austin Peay State University
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Choice, August 2012
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Summaries
Main Description
The title for this work comes from the Puritan minister Increase Mather, who used the colorful metaphor to express his concern about the state of English Protestantism. Like many New Englanders, Mather’s fears about the creeping influence of French Catholicism stemmed from English conflicts with France that spilled over into the colonial frontiers from French Canada. The most consistently fragile of these frontiers was the Province of Maine, notorious for attracting settlers who had “one foot out the door” of New England Puritanism. It was there that English Protestants and French Catholics came into frequent contact. The Spice of Popery: Converging Christianities on an Early American Frontiershows how, between the volatile years of 1688 to 1727, the persistence of Catholic people and culture in New England's border regions posed consistent challenges to the bodies and souls of frontier Protestants. Taking a cue from contemporary observers of religious culture, as well as modern scholars of early American religion, social history, material culture, and ethnohistory, Laura M. Chmielewski explores this encounter between opposing Christianities on an early American frontier. She examines the forms of lived religion and religious culture-enacted through gestures, religious spaces, objects, and discreet religious expressions-to elucidate the range of experience of its diverse inhabitants: accused witches, warrior Jesuits, unorthodox ministers, indigenous religious thinkers, voluntary and involuntary converts. Chmielewski offers a nuanced perspective of the structured categories of early American Christian religious life, suggesting that the terms “Protestant” and “Catholic” varied according to location and circumstances and that the assumptions accompanying their use had long-term consequences for generations of New Englanders. "Laura Chmielewski's The Spice of Poperyis an inspired contribution to our understanding of 'entangled Christianities' in early America-erudite, thorough, and eminently readable." - Edwin G. Burrows, Distinguished Professor of History, Brooklyn College, City University of New York "In her beautifully written and richly researched study, Laura Chmielewski provides an important new interpretation of the borderlands between French and English settlements in North America. She persuasively argues that this boundary was far more permeable than we have imagined, for despite prejudices and hostilities on both sides, these frontier colonists adapted and adopted many of their enemy’s cultural and religious patterns. Connections were made, kinships formed, and histories were shared, and what they-and we-once thought of as a firm barrier turns out to be a middle ground of exchange and synthesis. Anyone interested in early American history should read this book." - Carol Berkin, Presidential Professor of History, Baruch College and The Graduate Center, CUNY
Bowker Data Service Summary
'The Spice of Popery' examines the forms of lived religion and religious culture - enacted through gestures, religious spaces, objects and discreet religious expressions - to elucidate the range of experience of its diverse inhabitants: accused witches, warrior Jesuits, unorthodox ministers, and indigenous religious thinkers.
Main Description
The title for this work comes from the Puritan minister Increase Mather, who used the colorful metaphor to express his concern about the state of English Protestantism. Like many New Englanders, Mather's fears about the creeping influence of French Catholicism stemmed from English conflicts with France that spilled over into the colonial frontiers from French Canada. The most consistently fragile of these frontiers was the Province of Maine, notorious for attracting settlers who had "one foot out the door" of New England Puritanism. It was there that English Protestants and French Catholics came into frequent contact. The Spice of Popery: Converging Christianities on an Early American Frontiershows how, between the volatile years of 1688 to 1727, the persistence of Catholic people and culture in New England's border regions posed consistent challenges to the bodies and souls of frontier Protestants. Taking a cue from contemporary observers of religious culture, as well as modern scholars of early American religion, social history, material culture, and ethnohistory, Laura M. Chmielewski explores this encounter between opposing Christianities on an early American frontier. She examines the forms of lived religion and religious culture-enacted through gestures, religious spaces, objects, and discreet religious expressions-to elucidate the range of experience of its diverse inhabitants: accused witches, warrior Jesuits, unorthodox ministers, indigenous religious thinkers, voluntary and involuntary converts. Chmielewski offers a nuanced perspective of the structured categories of early American Christian religious life, suggesting that the terms "Protestant" and "Catholic" varied according to location and circumstances and that the assumptions accompanying their use had long-term consequences for generations of New Englanders. "Laura Chmielewski's The Spice of Poperyis an inspired contribution to our understanding of 'entangled Christianities' in early America-erudite, thorough, and eminently readable." - Edwin G. Burrows, Distinguished Professor of History, Brooklyn College, City University of New York "In her beautifully written and richly researched study, Laura Chmielewski provides an important new interpretation of the borderlands between French and English settlements in North America. She persuasively argues that this boundary was far more permeable than we have imagined, for despite prejudices and hostilities on both sides, these frontier colonists adapted and adopted many of their enemy's cultural and religious patterns. Connections were made, kinships formed, and histories were shared, and what they-and we-once thought of as a firm barrier turns out to be a middle ground of exchange and synthesis. Anyone interested in early American history should read this book." - Carol Berkin, Presidential Professor of History, Baruch College and The Graduate Center, CUNY
Table of Contents
List of Figuresp. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Brief Chronology: The Province of Maine, 1688-1727p. xv
Introductionp. 1
"The Land That Was Desolate … Shall Flourish Like the Lily": Christian Diversity in Early Mainep. 21
"Satan's Prey" or "L'esclavage de I'hérésie calviniste": The Imperial Battles for Maine's Frontier Soulsp. 69
"Pits of Hell" and "Ménages des anges": The Protestant Dilemma of Sacramental Marriagep. 123
The Ways of Christian Industry: Missions and Ministries on the Maine Frontierp. 165
Protestant Ornaments and Popish Relics: Maine's Material Culture of Lived Religionp. 211
"The Lord … Will Greatly Reward Me": The Religious Dimensions of Worldly Goodsp. 243
Afterwordp. 269
Abbreviationsp. 279
Notesp. 281
Bibliographyp. 339
Indexp. 355
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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