Sunday, September 4, 2016

A Brief Consideration of Charles Cohen’s Thesis - Christianity and the Colonization of British North America

        Charles Cohen presents a contrary perspective regarding the early colonization of British North America in the 17th and 18th centuries, suggesting not that Christianity loomed only to decrescendo ever since the landing of the Puritans and other-like minded dissidents, but instead, presents the case that the faithful pinioned on the periphery of the New World were located in a fundamentally revolving environment that harbored and instigated the expanse of Christendom. Cohen's thesis explores the unique scenario of migrants huddled in an uncharted landscape and endued with the responsibility to organize and structure their surroundings upon ideological concerns, primarily as a refuge from European church and societal corruption, the desire to revive long-held and valued Christian principles, and to function as a successful system of citizens lying outside the boundaries of conventional British civilization. He concludes with the notion that American revivalism ought not to be considered isolated but instead, a complement to the global revival sweeping across the Atlantic from Western Civilization's shore due to the organization of Protestantism from official doctrine to a faith revived by the intensive yearnings of devoted hearts affected by sermons from enthusiastic ministers, such as George Whitefield and Jonathan Edwards. Ultimately, Cohen argues that the religiously unassociated as well as the cross-denominational collective of settlers from the British continent were an extent of the church-state system but also a product of their developing environment.

        Charles Cohen, “The Colonization of British North America as an Episode in the History of Christianity,” Church History (2003), 553-568.

        Charles Landseer, The Eve of the Battle of Edge Hill, 1642, Google Art Project.

No comments:

Post a Comment