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Practicing Faith Through Reading and Writing

Practicing Faith Through Reading and Writing

Chapter:
(p.113) Chapter Four Practicing Faith Through Reading and Writing
Source:
Evangelical Gotham
Author(s):
Kyle B. Roberts
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226388281.003.0005

This chapter discusses evangelical print culture. Throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, coalescing an audience around print was the ambition, and the challenge, for evangelicals. Before the American Revolution, itinerant ministers published sermons, journals, and devotional guides to foster and sustain textual communities after they left town. In the postrevolutionary city, local ministers tried to create a conversation that transcended denominational difference to spread the gospel and to counter threats posed by temptations to sin and other religious traditions. Following the War of 1812, new printing technologies, modes of distribution, and organizational structures revolutionized evangelical print culture. Bibles, tracts, and periodicals poured forth from nondenominational, denominational, and commercial presses and traveled over roads, down canals, and across oceans in search of readers.

Keywords:   evangelical print culture, print media, New York City, antebellum evangelicalism, evangelicals, American Revolution, religious publications

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