The Lives of David Brainerd

The Lives of David Brainerd : The Making of an American Evangelical Icon

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David Brainerd is one of the most enigmatic figures in American religious history. Born in Connecticut in 1718, he entered Yale at the age of 21. Expelled in 1741 for refusing to accept the discipline of the college's administration, Brainerd was ordained by a local ministerial association. After a brief stint as an itinerant preacher, he began to minister among Native Americans - first the Mohicans in Massachusetts, then the Delaware Indians in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. After four years, he returned to New England, where he died of tuberculosis, at the home of Jonathan Edwards, at the age of thirty-one. As soon as he died, Brainerd's life entered the realm of legend. His story has been told in dozens of popular biographies, articles, and short essays. Almost without exception, these works are celebratory, even hagiographic in nature, making him into a kind of Protestant saint, a model for generations of missionaries. This book will be the first scholarly biography of Brainerd, drawing on everything from town records and published sermons to hand-written fragments to tell the story not only of Brainerd's life, but of his legend.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 288 pages
  • 162.56 x 236.22 x 30.48mm | 589.67g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 5 black and white halftones, 4 line illustrations
  • 0195372379
  • 9780195372373
  • 2,040,847

Review quote

A remarkable biography... Grigg has no fear of killing sacred cows... a thorough and scholarly treatment of a formerly hagiographic figure in American religious history. Thanks to his meticulous research and authoritative insight, religious scholars now have a superb source on David Brainerd that presents a more accurate biography of the life and legacy of an American icon. * Eighteenth-Century Studies *show more

Table of contents

CONTENTS; ACKNOWLEDGMENTS; INTRODUCTION; CONCLUSION; APPENDIX I; APPENDIX II; ABBREVIATIONS; NOTES; WORKS CITED; INDEXshow more

About John A. Grigg

John Grigg is the Assistant Professor of History at the University of Nebraska-Omahashow more

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