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Evangelical Gotham: Religion and the Making of New York City, 1783–1860 by Kyle B. Roberts (review)

Evangelical Gotham: Religion and the Making of New York City, 1783–1860 by Kyle B. Roberts... 710 � JOURNAL OF THE EARLY REPUBLIC (Winter 2018) debate over disestablishment in Virginia. Moreover, the commonwealth’s competing social interests and religious denominations shaped the poli- tics of disestablishment through petition campaigns and newspaper com- mentary that highlight a moment when popular politics overlapped with religion. Of course, historians are quite familiar with this commonplace account of how disestablishment occurred in Virginia, an account that Dreisbach might have opened to a new understanding had he considered a larger context for his analysis. Indeed, Dreisbach’s call for a careful analysis of biblical influence could conceivably reveal important new insights on many familiar developments in the political and religious history of the early United States. By limiting the scope of his study, Dreisbach also risked limiting his argument’s historiographic influence. Nevertheless, Dreisbach successfully outlines a historical methodology for tracing biblical literacy’s political influence. This marks Dreisbach’s signal contribution, one that guarantees a place for his book in debates over the Bible’s standing in the new nation’s public life. Eric R. Schlereth is an associate professor of history at the Univer- sity of Texas at Dallas. He is author of An Age of Infidels: The Politics of Religious Controversy in the Early http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of the Early Republic University of Pennsylvania Press

Evangelical Gotham: Religion and the Making of New York City, 1783–1860 by Kyle B. Roberts (review)

Journal of the Early Republic , Volume 38 (4) – Dec 3, 2018

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Publisher
University of Pennsylvania Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 Society for Historians of the Early American Republic.
ISSN
1553-0620

Abstract

710 � JOURNAL OF THE EARLY REPUBLIC (Winter 2018) debate over disestablishment in Virginia. Moreover, the commonwealth’s competing social interests and religious denominations shaped the poli- tics of disestablishment through petition campaigns and newspaper com- mentary that highlight a moment when popular politics overlapped with religion. Of course, historians are quite familiar with this commonplace account of how disestablishment occurred in Virginia, an account that Dreisbach might have opened to a new understanding had he considered a larger context for his analysis. Indeed, Dreisbach’s call for a careful analysis of biblical influence could conceivably reveal important new insights on many familiar developments in the political and religious history of the early United States. By limiting the scope of his study, Dreisbach also risked limiting his argument’s historiographic influence. Nevertheless, Dreisbach successfully outlines a historical methodology for tracing biblical literacy’s political influence. This marks Dreisbach’s signal contribution, one that guarantees a place for his book in debates over the Bible’s standing in the new nation’s public life. Eric R. Schlereth is an associate professor of history at the Univer- sity of Texas at Dallas. He is author of An Age of Infidels: The Politics of Religious Controversy in the Early

Journal

Journal of the Early RepublicUniversity of Pennsylvania Press

Published: Dec 3, 2018

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