R EVIEWS EDITED BY JESSICA C HOPIN RONEY AND W HITNEY MARTINKO Pulpit and Nation: Clergymen and the Politics of Revolutionary America. By Spencer W. McBride. (Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, 2016. Pp. 272. Cloth, $39.50.) John Witherspoon’s American Revolution. By Gideon Mailer. (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2017. Pp. 440. Cloth, $45.00.) Reviewed by Chris Beneke For centuries, European and colonial American governments had sup- ported favored churches, funding them, according them exclusive privi- leges, and suppressing their rivals. The newly established United States operated according to a different set of rules. By 1791, every state granted the free exercise of religion, while the amended Constitution forbade Congress from making laws respecting religion. It was an epochal change. Yet it did not stop clergymen from meddling in matters of state, nor civil authorities from meddling in matters of faith. The nature of that enduring entanglement is the focus of Spencer W. McBride’s probing and sharply reasoned Pulpit and Nation: Clergymen and the Politics of Revolutionary America. McBride proceeds themati- cally with chapters devoted, among other things, to the political uses of religious proclamations, the role of military and congressional chaplains, and the accusations of
Journal of the Early Republic – University of Pennsylvania Press
Published: Feb 28, 2019
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