The Spice of Popery
Converging Christianities on an Early American Frontier
Publication Year: 2011
Published by: University of Notre Dame Press
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Brief Chronology: The Province of Maine, 1688–1727
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In the history of early Maine’s religious culture, few families stand out like the Wheelwrights. The first settlers to bear the name were dissenters, radical antinomian Puritans and associates of Anne Hutchinson who, unwelcome in Massachusetts Bay and having few other options, came to...
1. “The Land That Was Desolate . . . Shall Flourish Like the Lily”: Christian Diversity in Early Maine
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In 1646 Gabriel Druillettes, a Jesuit priest who had long worked among native peoples of New France, established the Catholic mission of Narantsuoak on the banks of the Kennebec River. Known as Norridgewock to the English, it grew and prospered as a center for Christian spirituality...
2. “Satan’s Prey” or "L'esclavage de l'hérésie calviniste": The Imperial Battles for Maine's Frontier Souls
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Maine’s lack of religious cohesion haunted orthodox New England ministers, who feared for the souls of the province’s settlers. The most vocal warnings came from Cotton Mather, who asserted that the province’s religious instability jeopardized New England’s entire holy experiment. ...
3. “Pits of Hell” and “Ménages des anges”: The Protestant Dilemma of Sacramental Marriage
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The Treaty of Utrecht ended Queen Anne’s War in 1713. Among its provisions, the treaty addressed the return of all prisoners seized in the war, including frontier captives. English settlers who had lost family to captivity and were aware of the stipulation no doubt looked...
4. The Ways of Christian Industry: Missions and Ministries on the Maine Frontier
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Sebastien Rale, a Jesuit missionary at the established Catholic mission at Norridgewock, had problems with his neighbors. In 1722 he wrote a long letter to his nephew in France that described his troubles:...
5. Protestant Ornaments and Popish Relics: Maine's Material Culture of Livid Religion
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With Norridgewock destroyed and Sebastien Rale dead, 1724 was a transitional year for Christian religious culture in colonial Maine. By 1727 the effective end of Dummer’s War signaled a turn of the tide favoring the English, who now possessed the means, in times of peace...
6. “The Lord . . . Will Greatly Reward Me”: The Religious Dimensions of Wordly Goods
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In Maine’s contest to establish a dominant Christian culture, even commonplace objects were recast for religious purposes. The elevation of the mundane into the sacred, in the form of inherited land and goods, was one of the few practical measures to curb persisting religious incursions...
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When Benedict Fenwick, the Catholic bishop of Baltimore, proposed to construct a memorial to the slain Jesuit Sebastian Rale, he found an unlikely supporter for the project in the person of William Allen, Jr., the president of Bowdoin College and a devout Congregationalist. ...
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Index [Includes About the Author and Back Cover]
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Page Count: 352
Illustrations: No e-rights for images; text only.
Publication Year: 2011