Other Keys to the Kingdom: The Widening Spectrum of Religion in America (1800–60)

Robert T. Handy

in A History of the Churches in the United States and Canada

Published in print January 1976 | ISBN: 9780198269106
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191683572 | DOI:

Series: Oxford History of the Christian Church

Other Keys to the Kingdom: The Widening Spectrum of Religion in America (1800–60)

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Even as the evangelical empire expanded in size and prestige in the first sixty years of the 19th century in the United States, some strikingly different forms of religion were also spreading. Most communions which ministered to the needs of immigrant groups expanded markedly — the Roman Catholic Church grew from one of the smaller churches to become the largest single denomination by mid-century. Then, there were small groups which dissented sharply from the mainline traditions and experimented in novel ways. Some of these groups were ephemeral, but others became permanent. As the religious spectrum widened, bitter controversies emerged, testing the nation's commitment to religious liberty. The advance of liberal religion is shown. It also explains the high church movements, Protestantism among the blacks, the impact of immigration, Communitarianism and experimentation, and latter-day saints.

Keywords: United States; Roman Catholic Church; liberal religion; Protestantism; Communitarianism; saints; immigration

Chapter.  13243 words. 

Subjects: History of Christianity

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