“Where the Scriptures Speak, We Speak”: The Pennsylvania Frontier and the Origins of the Disciples of Christ
- Pennsylvania History: A Journal of Mid-Atlantic Studies
- Penn State University Press
- Volume 85, Number 2, Spring 2018
- pp. 145-166
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- Additional Information
The Disciples of Christ was a religious movement born in western Pennsylvania in the early nineteenth century. Drawing on European philosophies and the republican ideology of the early United States, Thomas and Alexander Campbell called for an end to denominational squabbling and a unification of Christians based on a straightforward reading of the Bible. Their desire for unity did not mean that they were above using controversy to bring attention to their cause. In several series of articles in The Reporter, a newspaper printed in Washington, Pennsylvania, Alexander chided local residents for their social behavior, their lack of reform, and the proliferation of moral societies. A focus on the Pennsylvanian origins of the Disciples demonstrates not only how important that region was to the rise of the movement and its ideology, but also how the Pennsylvanian borderlands were not isolated from the larger Atlantic world.