Chapter

Introduction

Elizabeth Elkin Grammer

in Some Wild Visions

Published in print January 2003 | ISBN: 9780195139617
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199834242 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195139615.003.0001

Series: Religion in America

Introduction

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Living in the age of revivalism and evangelicalism, many women were awakened in nineteenth‐century America to the “healing balm” of Christ. Many women were also awakened to—and eventually accepted—the “cross” of becoming itinerant preachers in an age that called women to stay at home and assume their duties as wives, mothers, and domestic servants. Grammer opens Some Wild Visions by introducing—with brief biographical summaries—the female evangelists whose autobiographies are under consideration there, by situating their lives within the context of nineteenth‐century evangelicalism, and by considering the importance of race and gender as categories of analysis in the chapters that follow. She concludes by exploring the significance of itinerancy itself for these women writers: not only is itinerancy the literal subject of their autobiographies, it is also their richly meaningful and organizing metaphor of self.

Keywords: revivalism; evangelicalism; nineteenth‐century America; female evangelists; women writers; autobiographies; metaphor of self; itinerancy; race; gender

Chapter.  14001 words. 

Subjects: Christianity

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