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Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Religious institutions played an influential role in the development of nineteenth-century American literature, especially for many African-Americans and Native Americans. Unfortunately, the relationship of these marginalized groups to organized religion has been mostly ignored in the recent Ұostsecular turn,Ӡwhich often presupposes the fracture of religious institutions and the rise of alternative religious forms. Writing Churches begins with statistics demonstrating a consistent overall growth and strengthening of Protestant organizations throughout the 1800s and situates this rise at the center of a new literary history investigating the relationship of race and organized religion in American literature. From the spiritual autobiographies of Olaudah Equiano and William Apess to novels by James Fenimore Cooper and Harriet Beecher Stowe, this dissertation shows how Protestant churchesѩn their theologies, ambitions, presses, and print culturesѤeeply shaped the genres, forms, methods, and material conditions of texts by and about people of color.
Chair and Committee
Abram C. Van Engen
Harold K. Bush, Robert Milder, Leigh E. Schmidt, Rafia Zafar,
Wakefield, Hannah, "Writing Churches: Race and Religion in Nineteenth-Century American Literature" (2018). Arts & Sciences Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 1660.
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