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Under the Cope of Heaven: Religion, Society, and Politics in Colonial America [Paperback]

Patricia U. Bonomi
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Under the Cope of Heaven: Religion, Society, and Politics in Colonial America Under the Cope of Heaven: Religion, Society, and Politics in Colonial America
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Book Description

April 1 1995
In this pathbreaking study, colonial historian Patricia Bonomi argues that religion was as instrumental as either politics or the economy in shaping early American life and values. Looking at the middle and southern colonies as well as at Puritan New England, 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.

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Review

"An excellent contribution to the social history of colonial religion. With great skill she weaves a narrative that demonstrates the inextricable relation between religion and politics in the colonies. I heartily recommend it, and look forward to using it for many years to come in the classroom."--Mark S. Cladis, Vassar College

"A good succinct study of the relation of politics and religion throughout the colonial period. Especially useful as a summary accessible to udergraduate history majors."--R.K. Donovan, Kansas State University

"[A] timely and thoughtful book."--New Republic

"A splendid overview of the topic of religion in the colonial period. The book is gracefully and economically written, provocative yet respectful of opposing views....Goes far toward providing a genuinely balanced account of the role of religion in the formation of the American mind."--William and Mary Quarterly

"Her depth of scholarship and documentation will please the scholar; her relation of her topic to American history in general will please the generalist, student or lay person; and her graceful writing style will endear her to all. The book is highly recommended."--History

"An important step toward a social history of religion and a masterful synthesis of what went on in all the colonies."--David D. Hall, Boston University

"Bonomi's vigorously argued book forces us to reconsider the role of religion in the lives of ordinary eighteenth-century Americans."--T.H. Breen, Northwestern University

"Provides a necessary corrective to the secular analysis of the roots of the American Revolution."--Journal of American History

"It is faintly embarrassing to describe a book as pathbreaking. But this one really is."--Maryland Historical Magazine

"Lucid, comprehensive, and often provocative."--Christine Leigh Heyrman, Brandeis University

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The skylines of our eastern cities in, say, 1760 were in their way just as striking as they are now, perhaps more so. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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3.0 out of 5 stars good if you stay with it Feb. 17 2003
Format:Paperback
This was a pretty good book looking at the role of religion in the colonial time period (a topic that has been understudied in our liberal/pc time). Most interesting was the connections made between religion (the great awakening) and the Revolution as an underlying motivator that pushed colonists to question authority after they had questioned their own lives/religions. It was a little slow in spots, but worthwhile if you keep reading.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Work on Religion in Colonial America July 30 2006
By Erik M. Greenberg - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Bonomi, a former student of the late Richard Hostadter, provides a detailed account of religious life, toleration and coflict in America. Her work begins by providing an overview of religious life in the colonies, followed by a study of religious toleration, which sher argues was granted begrudgingly as an expedient to promote immigration, and she concludes with an excellent section on the Great Awaening and the way in which it contributed to the America Revolution. A must read for people who require an overlook of this subject in this period.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review Dec 15 2009
By B. Caisse - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this volume hoping to learn more about the impact of the Great Awakening on the American Revolution. Ms. Bonomi addresses that subject and much more here. It is a wonderful treatise on the impact of religion on American society during the colonial period up to 1776. I found this book quite enlightening and would recommend it to anyone interested in the topic.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Under the Cope of Heaven is Illuminating May 25 2005
By Deborah - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
A provocative and insightful collection of material not readily found in other sources. A must for understanding the revolutionary era as well as for connecting the dots to 2005.

Desia
7 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars good if you stay with it Feb. 17 2003
By Mark D. Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This was a pretty good book looking at the role of religion in the colonial time period (a topic that has been understudied in our liberal/pc time). Most interesting was the connections made between religion (the great awakening) and the Revolution as an underlying motivator that pushed colonists to question authority after they had questioned their own lives/religions. It was a little slow in spots, but worthwhile if you keep reading.
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