"From Jamestown to Jefferson" sheds new light on the contexts
surrounding Thomas Jefferson's Statute for Religious Freedom--and
on the emergence of the American understanding of religious
freedom--by examining its deep roots in colonial Virginia's
remarkable religious diversity. Challenging traditional assumptions
about life in early Virginia, the essays in this volume show that
the colony was more religious, more diverse, and more tolerant than
commonly supposed. The presence of groups as disparate as Quakers,
African and African American slaves, and Presbyterians, alongside
the established Anglicans, generated a dynamic tension between
religious diversity and attempts at hegemonic authority that was
apparent from Virginia's earliest days. The contributors, all
renowned scholars of Virginia history, treat in detail the complex
interactions among Virginia's varied religious groups, both in and
out of power, as well as the seismic changes unleashed by the
Statute's adoption in 1786. "From Jamestown to Jefferson" suggests
that the daily religious practices and struggles that took place in
the town halls, backwoods settlements, plantation houses, and slave
quarters that dotted the colonial Virginia landscape helped create
a social and political space within which a new understanding of
religious freedom, represented by Jefferson's Statute, could
"Contributors" Edward L. Bond, Alabama A&M University *
Richard E. Bond, Virginia Wesleyan College * Thomas E. Buckley,
Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University/Graduate
Theological Union * Daniel L. Dreisbach, American University,
School of Public Affairs * Philip D. Morgan, Johns Hopkins
University * Monica Najar, Lehigh University * Paul Rasor, Virginia
Wesleyan College * Brent Tarter, Library of Virginia
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