Women in Early American Religion, 1600-1850 explores the first two centuries of America's religious history, examining the relationship between the socio-political environment, gender, politics and religion. Drawing its background from women's religious roles and experiences in England during the Reformation, the book follows them through colonial settlement, the rise of evangelicalism, the American Revolution, and the second flowering of popular religion in the nineteenth century.
Tracing the female spiritual tradition through the Puritans, Baptists and Shakers, Westerkamp argues that religious beliefs and structures were actually a strong empowering force for women.
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Marilyn J. Westerkamp is Professor of History at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She is the author of Triumph of the Laity: Scots-Irish Piety and the Great Awakening (1988).
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