On Writing the History of the American Bible Society–Update #81

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The draft of Chapter Four of the ABS project is complete.  I just sent a copy off to Amherst where Katie Garland, research assistant extraordinaire, will give it a good edit.  I am pleased with how the chapter turned out.  I think it tells a compelling story about the ABS’s attempt to supply every American family with a copy of the Bible.

Originally Chapter Five was going to focus on anti-Catholicism, but I have decided to move this material to Chapter Six and use Chapter Five to place the ABS in the larger context of the so-called “Benevolent Empire” of the early nineteenth century.  Much of the work of the ABS in this period intersects with similar efforts to Christianize the nation emanating from the American Sunday School Union, the American Tract Society, the American Temperance Society, and the revivals associated with the Second Great Awakening.  Women will be featured prominently in this chapter.  So will those who opposed inter-denominational benevolent efforts.  It should be a fun chapter to write.  Stay tuned.

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