In this Book

summary
In 1768, John Witherspoon, Presbyterian leader of the evangelical Popular party faction in the Scottish Kirk, became the College of New Jersey's sixth president. At Princeton, he mentored constitutional architect James Madison; as a New Jersey delegate to the Continental Congress, he was the only clergyman to sign the Declaration of Independence. Although Witherspoon is often thought to be the chief conduit of moral sense philosophy in America, Mailer's comprehensive analysis of this founding father's writings demonstrates the resilience of his evangelical beliefs. Witherspoon's Presbyterian evangelicalism competed with, combined with, and even superseded the civic influence of Scottish Enlightenment thought in the British Atlantic world.

John Witherspoon's American Revolution examines the connection between patriot discourse and long-standing debates--already central to the 1707 Act of Union--about the relationship among piety, moral philosophy, and political unionism. In Witherspoon's mind, Americans became different from other British subjects because more of them had been awakened to the sin they shared with all people. Paradoxically, acute consciousness of their moral depravity legitimized their move to independence by making it a concerted moral action urged by the Holy Spirit. Mailer's exploration of Witherspoon's thought and influence suggests that, for the founders in his circle, civic virtue rested on personal religious awakening.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright Page
  2. pp. i-vi
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. List of Illustrations
  2. pp. xi-xiv
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  1. Introduction: Enlightenment and Religion between Scotland and America
  2. pp. 1-40
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  1. Part I. From Scotland to America
  2. pp. 41-42
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  1. Chapter 1 “A Road to Distinction Very Different from That of His More Successful Companions”: Augustinian Piety in Witherspoon’s Scotland
  2. pp. 43-72
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  1. Chapter 2 “Of Local and Temporary Reformation, Local and Occasional Depravation”: Kirk Divisions and American Prospects at Midcentury
  2. pp. 73-100
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  1. Part II. Higher Education
  2. pp. 101-102
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  1. Chapter 3 “The Bulwark of the Religion and Liberty of America”: Presbyterian Revivalism and American Higher Education before Witherspoon
  2. pp. 103-139
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  1. Chapter 4 “All the Conclusions Drawn from These Principles Must Be Vague”: American Moral Philosophy after Witherspoon
  2. pp. 140-181
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  1. Chapter 5 “When Their Fathers Have Fallen Asleep”: Domestic Culture, Public Virtue, and the Power of Language
  2. pp. 182-214
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  1. Part III. American Independence
  2. pp. 215-216
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  1. Chapter 6 “Every One of Them Full of the Old Cameronian Resisting Sentiments”: Piety, Anglo- Scottish Union, and American Independence
  2. pp. 217-284
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  1. Chapter 7 “How Far the Magistrate Ought to Interfere in Matters of Religion”: Public Faith and the Ambiguity of Political Representation after 1776
  2. pp. 285-324
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  1. Part IV. Legacies
  2. pp. 325-326
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  1. Chapter 8 “The Latent Causes of Faction Are Thus Sown in the Nature of Man”: John Witherspoon, James Madison, and the American Founding
  2. pp. 327-364
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  1. Chapter 9 “Great Things Hath God Done for His American Zion”: Presbyterian Moral Philosophy and Educational Conflict during the Nineteenth Century
  2. pp. 365-402
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  1. Conclusion: “Unrelenting Rage”
  2. pp. 403-412
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 413-425
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Additional Information

ISBN
9781469628202
Related ISBN
9781469628189
MARC Record
OCLC
965340550
Pages
440
Launched on MUSE
2017-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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