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Conceived in Doubt: Religion and Politics in the New American Nation (American Beginnings, 1500-1900) Hardcover – April 23, 2012
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(Franklin Lambert Purdue University)
About the Author
Amanda Porterfield is the Robert A. Spivey Professor of Religion and professor of history at Florida State University.
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Top Customer Reviews
Porterfield seems to be saying that the growth of religion in the early republic was not so much the result of the democratization of truth, but rather the resolution, and sometimes the management, of doubt. The last sentence of her Introduction reads: "With doubt the cultural sickness that religion nursed, religion thrived as a way to interpret, relieve, and feed it" (13).
Contrary to Hatch--a graduate of a Christian college (Wheaton), who wrote his book during the Reagan Administration--the growth and strength of conservative protestantism in the U.S. was not simply the result of American political freedom. Instead, as rationalists and skeptics like Jefferson and his ilk warmed up to conservative protestants, a sort of quid pro quo emerged. Jeffersonians backed off of their public suspicions of supernaturally-revealed religion, while the religionists, Baptists and especially Methodists in this case, were expected to back off of their opposition to citizens' control of property (i.e., slaves).Read more ›