The First Prejudice

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2010-11-05
  • Publisher: Univ of Pennsylvania Pr

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In many ways, religion was the United States' first prejudice-both an early source of bigotry and the object of the first sustained efforts to limit it's effects. Spanning more than two centuries across colonial British America and the United States,The First Prejudiceoffers a groundbreaking exploration of the early history of persecution and toleration. The twelve essays in this volume were composed by leading historians with an eye to the larger significance of religious tolerance and intolerance. Individual chapters examine the prosecution of religious crimes, the biblical sources of tolerance and intolerance, the British imperial context of toleration, the bounds of Native American spiritual independence, the nuances of anti-Semitism and anti-Catholicism, the resilience of African American faiths, and the challenges confronted by skeptics and freethinkers. The First Prejudicepresents a revealing portrait of the rhetoric, regulations, and customs that shaped the relationships between people of different faiths in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century America. It relates changes in law and language to the lived experience of religious conflict and religious cooperation, highlighting the crucial ways in which they molded U.S. culture and politics. By incorporating a broad range of groups and religious differences in its accounts of tolerance and intolerance,The First Prejudiceopens a significant new vista on the understanding of America's long experience with diversity.

Author Biography

Chris Beneke is Associate Professor of History and Director of the Valente Center for Arts and Sciences at Bentley University. Christopher S. Grenda is Associate Professor of History at Bronx Community College of the City University of New York.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 1
Ideologies of Tolerance and Intolerance in Early America
Faith, Reason, and Enlightenment: The Cultural Sources of Toleration in Early Americap. 23
Amalek and the Rhetoric of Exterminationp. 53
Practices of Tolerance and Intolerance in Colonial British America
The Episcopate, the British Union, and the Failure of Religious Settlement in Colonial British Americap. 75
Practicing Toleration in Dutch New Netherlandp. 98
Heretics, Blasphemers, and Sabbath Breakers: The Prosecution of Religious Crime in Early Americap. 123
Persecuting Quakers? Liberty and Toleration in Early Pennsylvaniap. 143
The Boundaries of Tolerance and Intolerance in Early America
Native Freedom? Indians and Religious Tolerance in Early Americap. 169
Slaves to Intolerance: African American Christianity and Religious Freedom in Early Americap. 195
Catholics, Protestants, and the Clash of Civilizations in Early Americap. 218
Anti-Semitism, Toleration, and Appreciation: The Changing Relations of Jews and Gentiles in Early Americap. 241
The Persistence of Tolerance and Intolerance in the New Nation
The "Catholic Spirit Prevailing in Our Country": America's Moderate Religious Revolutionp. 265
The Boundaries of Toleration and Tolerance: Religious Infidelity in the Early American Republicp. 286
Notesp. 303
List of Contributorsp. 385
Indexp. 389
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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