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The Last PuritansMainline Protestants and the Power of the Past$
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Margaret Bendroth

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781469624006

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469624006.001.0001

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Protestant Saints

Protestant Saints

The Power of Congregational Memory

(p.11) Chapter One Protestant Saints
The Last Puritans

Margaret Bendroth

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter shows how early nineteenth-century church people talked about their ancestors in surprisingly immediate ways, as people with a continuing interest in the work of the living and a moral claim on them. This sense of personal connection is the beginning point for measuring all the changes that followed, the emerging sense of history and time that this book describes. It demonstrates the continuing power of old Puritan ideals within nineteenth-century Congregational churches, especially a faith in God as the author of time and the directing force behind human history. Deference to ancestors was not just a nod to Yankee traditionalism—it rested on a deep sense of obligation forged between people and families over time.

Keywords:   Congregational memory, Congregational churches, early nineteenth century, old Puritan ideals, sense of history

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