There is a vast amount of literature on the belief that America has played, and still plays, a special role under the guiding hand of Providence. Much of it is speculative. Writers on the theme think nothing (for example) of leaping from the seventeenth-century myths of collective errands into the wilderness to the contemporary American mind. It is a tradition that abounds in metaphors, most of them well-known. They range from the city on a hill to manifest destiny and God’s own nation, and are typically discussed in books with such resounding titles as Redeemer Nation and the American Jeremiad. Guyatt’s Providence and the Invention of the United States, 1607–1876 is not just the umpteenth addition to the providentialist family. It is a refreshing book, in part because of its commonsensical approach. The author writes well, sticks to the sources, and avoids speculation.Guyatt’s book explores the idea of providence as it surfaced in the writings of Englishmen and Americans in the course of more than two and a half centuries. Based on a broad selection of sources (sermons, history books, newspapers, magazines, diaries), it examines the idea that history unfolds at the behest of God, who, according to most
Church History and Religious Culture (formerly Nederlands Archief voor Kerkgeschiedenis) – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2010
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