Kidd - Protestant Interest

January 17, 2006

Thomas Kidd
The Protestant Interest: New England after Puritanism
Yale University Press
New Haven and London
2004

During the 50 years between the Glorious Revolution and the Great Awakening, many New Englanders came to see themselves as part of a worldwide Protestant Interest. This Protestant Interest replaced Puritanism as their collective and public religious identity.

New Englanders began to refer to selves as dissenters or often "evangelicals" after about 1720.

Churchmen, French Catholics, and New Englanders had been proselytizing the indians along the Northern border since the 17th century, with formal missions organized in the 18th century by both the SPGFP and less formally organized New England counterparts workingwith the Society in Scotland for Promoting Christian Knowledge. 43-46 key focus was Jesuits v SSPCK among Wabanakis

New newspaper tied Boston to the world, especially important because wars of late 17th and early 18th century read as a conflict between worldwide Protestantism and worldwide Catholicism

"Joseph Campbell's Boston News-Letter must be viewed as an important departure in provincial New England's print culture and a new means of helping readersimagine simultaneously a British and an international Protestant community. Religious news, motivated by an eschatological anticipation of an impending battle for Christendom], directed much of the content of the News-Leter and later Boston papers." 55

Chapter 5 discusses the enduring use of anti-Jacobitism and anti-Catholicism.
New Englanders were worried about a return of the Stuart line, identified themselves with the Protestant and then the Hanoverian succession against the possibility of a Jacobite restoration. Their newspapers tracked the movements and actions of the Pretenders. More to the point, New Englanders worried that Episcopacy was a stalking horse for Popery, that the local SPGFP ministers were undermining the true religion. They had some trust for the C of E in England, little trust for it in New England. Afraid that they would lose their odd position as Dissenting establishment. Tended to accuses foes of being jacobites if not papists, especially if foes were CofE or even leaned that way, and the rhetoric worked - New Englanders trained themselves and their rising generations to respond negatively and immediately to all references to popery, jacobites and the SPGFP, and linked them all together in a single rhetorical and emotional construct.


Posted by Red Ted at January 17, 2006 02:15 PM | TrackBack
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