This book owes a great deal to many people and organizations. It took shape in a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminar led by Professor R. Laurence Moore of Cornell University in 1981. It developed during a fiuitful sabbatical leave from Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa, spent at the Institute for Ecumenical and Cultural Research at St. John's University in Collegeville, Minnesota. The project was further supported with a summer research grant from Northwestern College and a Calvin Research Fellowship from Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Throughout this long project I owe much to the wonderful hospitality of away-from-home hosts, to the warm support of colleagues in Iowa and Michigan, and to my splendid family -- my dear wife and our three wonderful children -- whose patience has been very great and for whom I have measureless gratitude and appreciation.