Pious Pursuits: German Moravians in the Atlantic World (European Expansion & Global Interaction)

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9781845453398: Pious Pursuits: German Moravians in the Atlantic World (European Expansion & Global Interaction)

Recent work on the history of migration and the Atlantic World has underscored the importance of the political economies of Europe, Africa, and the Americas in the eighteenth century, emphasizing the impact of these exchanges on political relations and state-building, and on economic structures, commerce, and wealth. Too little of this work explores culture and identity outside the Anglo-American context, especially as reflected through religious developments of radical Pietists and other Germans, the second largest group of migrants to the American colonies in the eighteenth century.

This volume offers a fresh vantage point from which to examine the Atlantic World. Quick to traverse the conventional political boundaries that divided European states and American colonies, Moravians departed their homeland to form new congregations in the most cosmopolitan European cities as well as on the North American frontier. Pious Pursuits explores the lives and beliefs of Atlantic World Moravians, as well as their communities and culture, and it provides a new framework for analysis of the Atlantic World that is comparative and transnational.

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About the Author:

Michele Gillespie is Kahle Associate Professor of History at Wake Forest University. She received her Ph.D. from Princeton University, and is the author of numerous publications including Free Labor in a Free World: White Artisans in Slaveholding Georgia, 1790-1860.


"In bringing these essays together into an argument for diasporic tensions, Pious Pursuits juxtaposes different scholarship on Moravians to expose the contrary nature of trying to synthesize a group of people who lived all over the world over multiple centuries. However, it is that range that makes this collection so good; it is hard to imagine any reader not finding at least a few essays relevant, new, and thought-provoking. And by systematically examining Moravians in the Atlantic world, Pious Pursuits provides a framework for future scholarship on other diasporic communities."  ·  Journal of American Ethnic History

"This collection will be a valuable resource for scholars of the Atlantic world, the eighteenth century, and the history of religion."  ·  German-Canadian Studies

"The present volume, with some highly original research, well written and widely focused, adds an important intercultural perspective to the Atlantic evangelicalism of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries and is a very good starting point for further investigations."  ·  H-Atlantic

"The reader who takes time to enjoy these essays will no doubt not only learn a lot about Moravians but also about the important role relatively small religious German communities played in a predominantly Anglo-American environment."  ·  H-Soz-u-Kult

"... an excellent introduction to key themes of Moravian history and a good basis for further explorations."  ·  German Historical Institute London Bulletin

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