"Why," an exasperated Jonathan Edwards requested, "can't we be contented with. . . the canon of Scripture?" Edwards posed this question to the non secular lovers of his personal new release, yet he may have simply as safely positioned it to humans around the complete expanse of early American history.
In the minds of her critics, Anne Hutchinson's heresies threatened to provide "a new Bible." Ethan Allen insisted revelation which spoke to each condition of existence will require "a Bible of massive size." while the African-American prophetess Rebecca Jackson launched into a non secular trip towards Shakerism, she dreamt of a house within which she may perhaps locate a number of books of scripture. Orestes Brownson defined to his skeptical contemporaries that the belief drawing him to Catholicism used to be the possibility of an "ever enlarging quantity" of idea. Early americans of each colour and creed time and again faced the bounds of scripture. a few fought to open the canon. a few labored to maintain it closed.
Sacred Borders vividly depicts the bounds of the biblical canon as a battleground on which a various staff of early americans contended over their differing models of divine fact. Puritans, deists, evangelicals, liberals, Shakers, Mormons, Catholics, Seventh-day Adventists, and Transcendentalists defended extensively various positions on how to find the borders of scripture. conscientiously exploring the historical past of those scriptural boundary wars, Holland deals an immense new tackle the non secular cultures of early America.
He offers a colourful solid of characters-including the likes of Franklin and Emerson besides extra vague figures--who faced the highbrow tensions surrounding the canon query, akin to that among cultural authority and democratic freedom, and among undying fact and ancient switch. To reconstruct those sacred borders is to achieve a brand new knowing of the psychological global within which early american citizens went approximately their lives and created their nation.