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Unity in Christ and Country, Unity in Christ and Country, 081731945X, 0-8173-1945-X, 978-0-8173-1945-8, 9780817319458, , , Unity in Christ and Country, 081739088X, 0-8173-9088-X, 978-0-8173-9088-4, 9780817390884,

Unity in Christ and Country
American Presbyterians in the Revolutionary Era, 1758–1801

Trade Cloth
2017. 200 pp.
Price:  $49.95 s
E Book
2017. 200 pp.
Price:  $49.95 d

Examines the interdenominational pursuits of the American Presbyterian Church from 1758 to 1801

In Unity in Christ and Country: American Presbyterians in the Revolutionary Era, 1758–1801, William Harrison Taylor investigates the American Presbyterian Church’s pursuit of Christian unity and demonstrates how, through this effort, the church helped to shape the issues that gripped the American imagination, including evangelism, the conflict with Great Britain, slavery, nationalism, and sectionalism. When the colonial Presbyterian Church reunited in 1758, a nearly twenty-year schism was brought to an end. To aid in reconciling the factions, church leaders called for Presbyterians to work more closely with other Christian denominations. Their ultimate goal was to heal divisions, not just within their own faith but also within colonial North America as a whole.
Taylor contends that a self-imposed interdenominational transformation began in the American Presbyterian Church upon its reunion in 1758. However, this process was altered by the church’s experience during the American Revolution, which resulted in goals of Christian unity that had both spiritual and national objectives. Nonetheless, by the end of the century, even as the leaders in the Presbyterian Church strove for unity in Christ and country, fissures began to develop in the church that would one day divide it and further the sectional rift that would lead to the Civil War.
Taylor engages a variety of sources, including the published and unpublished works of both the Synods of New York and Philadelphia and the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the United States, as well as numerous published and unpublished Presbyterian sermons, lectures, hymnals, poetry, and letters. Scholars of religious history, particularly those interested in the Reformed tradition, and specifically Presbyterianism, should find Unity in Christ and Country useful as a way to consider the importance of the theology’s intellectual and pragmatic implications for members of the faith.

William Harrison Taylor is an associate professor of history at Alabama State University and the coeditor of Faith and Slavery in the Presbyterian Diaspora.

"While much literature exists on the history of late-eighteenth-century Christianity, Taylor's work adds to this scholarship by specifically examining the Presbyterian effort to foster Christian unity during this era and demonstrates how that effort resulted in fracturing both the church and American national unity."
Journal of Southern History

"Taylor's prose is clear and to the point, making his arguments particularly accessible to readers. Unity in Christ and Country is an important contribution to the resurgent study of religion in Revolutionary America and essential reading for those seeking to understand the place of Presbyterians therein."
Journal of Ecclesiastical History

"Taylor provides a compelling account of efforts to reconcile Christian denominations in the nascent US. The book moves chronologically. Taylor begins with the optimistic efforts to reunify Christianity before the Revolutionary War, and then details differences between the North's and South's efforts at unity. He concludes by asserting that efforts to unify actually further divided Christians by the 19th century. The scholarship relies on a range of sources, from the records of the General Assembly to diaries of Presbyterian leaders. Taylor has deftly crafted both a detailed history of a particular denomination and a larger story about Protestantism’s harried relationship with American identity. He argues that Presbyterianism is central to ideas about US nationalism and the “American mind.” Scholars of American religious history will benefit from this account of antebellum religion. Highly recommended."

"This scholarship holds the potential to change how historians think about Presbyterianism—and evangelicalism, more broadly—in the Revolutionary Era and the early republic. Unity in Christ and Country is a lucid, carefully researched, and succinct foray into that discussion."
Journal of Southern Religion

Unity in Christ and Country presents a persuasive argument about the importance of internal Presbyterian development for broader American history, as well as for the history of this one Christian denomination.”
—Mark A. Noll, author of Protestantism: A Very Short Introduction and In the Beginning Was the Word: The Bible in American Public Life, 1492–1783 and coeditor of Singing the Lord's Song in a Strange Land: Hymnody in the History of North American Protestantism

Unity in Christ and Country is an informative narrative that sheds light on the relationship between Presbyterianism and the revolutionary-era of the late eighteenth century.”
—John Fea, author of The Bible Cause: A History of the American Bible Society and Was America Founded as a Christian Nation?: A Historical Introduction

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