Faith and Boundaries

Faith and Boundaries : Colonists, Christianity, and Community among the Wampanoag Indians of Martha's Vineyard, 1600-1871

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It was indeed possible for Indians and Europeans to live peacefully in early America and for Indians to survive as distinct communities. Faith and Boundaries uses the story of Martha's Vineyard Wampanoags to examine how. On an island marked by centralized English authority, missionary commitment, and an Indian majority, the Wampanoags' adaptation to English culture, especially Christianity, checked violence while safeguarding their land, community, and ironically, even customs. Yet the colonists' exploitation of Indian land and labor exposed the limits of Christian fellowship and thus hardened racial division. The Wampanoags learned about race through this rising bar of civilization - every time they met demands to reform, colonists moved the bar higher until it rested on biological difference. Under the right circumstances, like those on Martha's Vineyard, religion could bridge wide difference between the peoples of early America, but its transcendent power was limited by the divisiveness of more

Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 1139239287
  • 9781139239288

Table of contents

Introduction: Epenow's lessons; 1. 'Here comes the Englishman'; 2. To become all things to all men; 3. The Lord tests the righteous; 4. Deposing the Sachem to defend the Sachemship; 5. Leading values; 6. The costs of debt; 7. 'Newcomers and strangers'; Conclusion: fencing in, fencing more

Review quote

'David J. Silverman's deeply researched and gracefully written study of the Christian Wampanoag Indians of Martha's Vineyard makes a significant contribution to the growing body of literature on the Indians of early America. ... This elegantly written, exhaustively researched book deserves a wide readership and is sure to have a lasting impact on our understanding of the role of Christianity in early American Indian history.' The Journal of Ecclesiastical Historyshow more

About David J. Silverman

David J. Silverman is Associate Professor of History at the George Washington University. His several articles include 'Indians, Missionaries, and Religious Translation', which won the Lester J. Cappon award for best essay of 2005 in the William and Mary Quarterly. He completed this book as a Mellon Post-Dissertation Fellow at the American Antiquarian more

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13 ratings
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2 8% (1)
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