Holy Nation: The Transatlantic Quaker Ministry In An Age Of Revolution

Hardcover | July 13, 2015

bySarah Crabtree

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Early American Quakers have long been perceived as retiring separatists, but in Holy Nation Sarah Crabtree transforms our historical understanding of the sect by drawing on the sermons, diaries, and correspondence of Quakers themselves. Situating Quakerism within the larger intellectual and religious undercurrents of the Atlantic World, Crabtree shows how Quakers forged a paradoxical sense of their place in the world as militant warriors fighting for peace. She argues that during the turbulent Age of Revolution and Reaction, the Religious Society of Friends forged a “holy nation,” a transnational community of like-minded believers committed first and foremost to divine law and to one another. Declaring themselves citizens of their own nation served to underscore the decidedly unholy nature of the nation-state, worldly governments, and profane laws. As a result, campaigns of persecution against the Friends escalated as those in power moved to declare Quakers aliens and traitors to their home countries.

Holy Nation convincingly shows that ideals and actions were inseparable for the Society of Friends, yielding an account of Quakerism that is simultaneously a history of the faith and its adherents and a history of its confrontations with the wider world. Ultimately, Crabtree argues, the conflicts experienced between obligations of church and state that Quakers faced can illuminate similar contemporary struggles.

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Early American Quakers have long been perceived as retiring separatists, but in Holy Nation Sarah Crabtree transforms our historical understanding of the sect by drawing on the sermons, diaries, and correspondence of Quakers themselves. Situating Quakerism within the larger intellectual and religious undercurrents of the Atlantic World...

Sarah Crabtree is assistant professor of history at San Francisco State University.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:304 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.2 inPublished:July 13, 2015Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022625576X

ISBN - 13:9780226255767

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

List of Abbreviations
Introduction  
Holy Nation  
Part I: Combat, 1754–89
1. Zion in Crisis: Friends as the Israel of Old 
2. Lamb-Like Warriors: The Quakers’ Church Militant
Part II: Compromise, 1779–1809
3. Walled Gardens: Friends’ Schools
Part III: Concession, 1793–1826
4. The Still, Small Voice: Quaker Activism
5. The Whole World My Country: A Cosmopolitan Society
Conclusion: At Peace with the World, at War with Itself
Acknowledgments
Notes
Index

Editorial Reviews

“Crabtree has produced a provocative and, in most respects, compelling reinterpretation of Quaker history during the period 1750–1830. Most historians have presented this as an era of quietism, in which American Quakers withdrew from government in the U.S., emerging back into public view as humanitarian reformers, opponents of slavery, and advocates of the rights of American Indians, prisoners, and women. Crabtree argues that this was, in fact, a period in which Quakers in both the British Isles and the UK eschewed national allegiances to commit themselves to a vision of a Zion that, in its commitments to peace and eschewal of national loyalties, was at odds with the growing demands of the nation-states in which Friends lived. . . . An important book for historians of Quakerism and the Atlantic world. Highly recommended.”