1815-1850: Religion: Publications
1815-1850: Religion: Publications
Lyman Beecher, A Pleafor the West (Cincinnati: Truman & Smith, 1835)—originally a fundraising speech for Lane Theological Seminary, this anti-Catholic pamphlet became a classic statement of nativist fears as well as an optimistic tribute to the potential of the American West;
Orestes Brownson, New Views of Christianity, Society, and the Church (Boston: James Munroe, 1836)—This work brought the reform-minded Brownson, who later became one of the nation’s most prominent converts to Catholicism, to the forefront of the Transcendentalist movement;
Andrew Jackson Davis, The Principles of Nature, Her Divine Revelation and a Voice to Mankind (New York: S. S. Lyon &W. Fishbough, 1847)—reportedly dictated to scribes while Davis, the leading philosopher of Spiritualism, was in a trance state. This work treats such topics as utopianism, deistic naturalism, and human progress, capturing much of the expansive religious spirit of the 1840s;
Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nature (Boston: James Munroe, 1836)—an optimistic tribute to individualism and human potential that became one of the first authoritative expositions of Transcendentalist thought;
Ann Hasseltine Judson, A Particular Relation of the American Mission to the Burmese Empire (Washington: J. S. Meehan, 1823)—typical of the popular personal accounts that stimulated enthusiasm for the missionary movement;
Asa Mahan, Scripture Doctrine of Christian Perfection (Boston: D. S. King, 1840)—a description of how a believer might obtain full victory over sin, reflecting the perfectionist ideas of the 1830s and 1840s, by the president of Oberlin College;
William Miller, Evidence from Scripture and History of the Second Coming of Christ, About the Year 1843 (Syracuse, N.Y.: T. A. & S. F. Smith, 1835)—provided exact calculations showing that Christ would return to earth in 1843;
Maria Monk, Awful Disclosures of Maria Monk, as Exhibited in a Narrative of Her Suffering During a Residence of Five Years as a Novice, and Two Years as a Black Nun, in the Hotel Dieu Nunnery at Montreal (New York: Published by Maria Monk, 1836)—the most popular of the fraudulent anti-Catholic convent-expose books of the 1830s;
Phoebe Palmer, The Way of Holiness (New York: Foster & Palmer Jr., 1843)—an influential collection of essays describing the author’s experience of attaining sanctification;
Theodore Parker, The Transient and Permanent in Christianity (Boston, 1841)—originally delivered as a sermon, this tract created controversy among Unitarians with the argument that the true essence of Christianity was not based on any of the historical claims of the Bible such as miracles, the divinity of Christ, or even the existence of Christ as an historical figure; rather, true and enduring faith came only from an individual’s natural intuition of the divine;
Joseph Smith, The Book of Mormon (Palmyra, N.Y., 1830)—initially scorned by most readers, this new scripture eventually drew thousands into the Mormon faith, convincing them that Christ had visited America and would return here to establish his kingdom on earth.
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