The Divided Heart: Essays on Protestantism and the Enlightenment in America

Synopsis

Bringing together essays by a leading intellectual and religious historian, The Divided Heart is a collection of recent reflections, sometimes with a considerable autobiographical element, by Henry F. May on the conflict between Protestantism and the Enlightenment that runs throughout the history of American culture. Summarizing May's opinions on recent historiographical arguments, the introduction to The Divided Heart tells of his own development as a historian, major influences upon his thinking, and how his practicing assumptions grew. Covering religion, there are essays on early American history, Jonathan Edwards, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Reinhold Niebuhr, and "reflections on the uneasy relation" between religion and American intellectual history. Relating to the Enlightenment, there are essays on the Constitution and the "Jeffersonian Moment." Suggesting a new and interdisciplinary approach, May's last essay deals with the end of the Enlightenment and the beginning of Romanticism, an area of history with which he has never before dealt.

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