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A History of Christianity in the United States and Canada by Mark A. Noll

By Mark A. Noll

From the energetic severities of the 17th-century Pilgrims and Puritans to the ebullience of the televanglism age, the Christian event in North the US is wealthy and sundry. Noll covers all of it during this great narrative survey. Tracing the expansion of Christian trust and associations and their interactions with tradition within the U.S. and Canada from the colonial interval to the current, his strategy is extensive and finished. Many biographical profiles upload a private measurement to the narrative.

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The mainstay of the mission­ ary enterprise was the Jesuit Andrew White ( 1 579- 1 656) . White was a de­ termined proponent of Thomas Aquinas's theology and had labored as both a priest in England and a teacher in France before coming to aid the Calverts. In the New World, White preached energetically to the European colonists. For these efforts, ironically, he was reprimanded by the Calverts for en­ dangering their colony (by stirring up the Protestants) . But White's most important work was among the Piscataway Indians.

The religious influence, for example, was very strong in the governments of early New England, where, without necessarily intending to, Massachusetts and its fellow Puritan colonies advanced the cause of democracy. It was equally strong in the Salem witch scare of 1 692, an event that ever after has been a source of shame to friends of the Puritans and a proof of hysterical instability to their enemies. The Puritans were also a highly verbal people who left a full written record of their thoughts and actions.

This development can be attributed to events taking place in France. When King Henry IV promulgated the Edict of Nantes in 1598, French Huguenots gained a measure of liberty for which they had been struggling since the early days of the Reformation. These Huguenots were Reformed or Calvin­ istic Protestants who largely came from the rising class of traders and mer­ chants. One of the Huguenots, P ierre du Gua de Monts, helped finance early voyages of exploration to New France and early attempts at permanent settlement.

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