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The title for this work comes from the Puritan minister Increase Mather, who used the colorful metaphor to express his concern about the state of English Protestantism. Like many New Englanders, Mather’s fears about the creeping influence of French Catholicism stemmed from English conflicts with France that spilled over into the colonial frontiers from French Canada. The most consistently fragile of these frontiers was the Province of Maine, notorious for attracting settlers who had “one foot out the door” of New England Puritanism. It was there that English Protestants and French Catholics came into frequent contact. The Spice of Popery: Converging Christianities on an Early American Frontier shows how, between the volatile years of 1688 to 1727, the persistence of Catholic people and culture in New England's border regions posed consistent challenges to the bodies and souls of frontier Protestants. Taking a cue from contemporary observers of religious culture, as well as modern scholars of early American religion, social history, material culture, and ethnohistory, Laura M. Chmielewski explores this encounter between opposing Christianities on an early American frontier. She examines the forms of lived religion and religious culture—enacted through gestures, religious spaces, objects, and discreet religious expressions—to elucidate the range of experience of its diverse inhabitants: accused witches, warrior Jesuits, unorthodox ministers, indigenous religious thinkers, voluntary and involuntary converts. Chmielewski offers a nuanced perspective of the structured categories of early American Christian religious life, suggesting that the terms “Protestant” and “Catholic” varied according to location and circumstances and that the assumptions accompanying their use had long-term consequences for generations of New Englanders.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Frontmatter
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Figures
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. xi-xiii
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  1. Brief Chronology: The Province of Maine, 1688–1727
  2. pp. xv-xvi
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-20
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  1. 1. “The Land That Was Desolate . . . Shall Flourish Like the Lily”: Christian Diversity in Early Maine
  2. pp. 21-67
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  1. 2. “Satan’s Prey” or "L'esclavage de l'hérésie calviniste": The Imperial Battles for Maine's Frontier Souls
  2. pp. 69-122
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  1. 3. “Pits of Hell” and “Ménages des anges”: The Protestant Dilemma of Sacramental Marriage
  2. pp. 123-164
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  1. 4. The Ways of Christian Industry: Missions and Ministries on the Maine Frontier
  2. pp. 165-209
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  1. 5. Protestant Ornaments and Popish Relics: Maine's Material Culture of Livid Religion
  2. pp. 211-242
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  1. 6. “The Lord . . . Will Greatly Reward Me”: The Religious Dimensions of Wordly Goods
  2. pp. 243-268
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  1. Afterword
  2. pp. 269-278
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  1. Abbreviations
  2. pp. 279-280
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 281-338
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 339-353
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  1. Index [Includes About the Author and Back Cover]
  2. pp. 355-366
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Additional Information

ISBN
9780268076948
Related ISBN
9780268023072
MARC Record
OCLC
794700741
Pages
352
Launched on MUSE
2012-02-08
Language
English
Open Access
No
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