Sarah Osborn's World : The Rise of Evangelical Christianity in Early America

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  • Format: Trade Book
  • Copyright: 2013-01-08
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
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In 1743, sitting quietly with pen in hand, Sarah Osborn pondered how to tell the story of her life, how to make sense of both her spiritual awakening and the sudden destitution of her family. Remarkably, the memoir she created that year survives today, as do more than two thousand additional pages she composed over the following three decades. Sarah Osborn's Worldis the first book to mine this remarkable woman's prolific personal and spiritual record. Catherine Brekus recovers the largely forgotten story of Sarah Osborn's life as one of the most charismatic female religious leaders of her time, while also connecting her captivating story to the rising evangelical movement in eighteenth-century America. A schoolteacher in Rhode Island, a wife, and a mother, Sarah Osborn led a remarkable revival in the 1760s that brought hundreds of people, including many slaves, to her house each week. Her extensive written recordencompassing issues ranging from the desire to be "born again" to a suspicion of capitalismprovides a unique vantage point from which to view the emergence of evangelicalism. Brekus sets Sarah Osborn's experience in the context of her revivalist era and expands our understanding of the birth of the evangelical movementa movement that transformed Protestantism in the decades before the American Revolution.

Author Biography

Catherine A. Brekus teaches American religious history at the University of Chicago. She is the author or editor of several books on the history of women and religion, including Strangers and Pilgrims: Female Preaching in America, and is editing a volume of Sarah Osborn's diaries forthcoming from Yale University Press. She lives in Kenilworth, IL.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. xi
Introductionp. 1
A Memoir, 1743
Never Despairp. 15
The Name of Christp. 33
An Afflicted Low Conditionp. 59
Amazing Gracep. 93
Diaries and Letters, 1744-1796
The Lord Gave, and the Lord Hath Taken Away, 1744p. 137
No Imaginary Thing, 1753-1755p. 170
Pinching Poverty, 1756-1758p. 191
Love Thy Neighbor, 1759-1763p. 217
Jordan Overflowing, 1765-1774p. 248
The Latter Days, 1775-1787p. 289
The Open Vision, 1796p. 316
Epilogue: A Protestant Saintp. 337
List of Abbreviationsp. 345
Notesp. 349
Acknowledgmentsp. 415
Indexp. 419
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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