“Rocks and Storms I'll Fear No More”: The Anchor and the Cross

David J. Stewart

in The Sea Their Graves

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780813037349
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780813041575 | DOI:
“Rocks and Storms I'll Fear No More”: The Anchor and the Cross

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  • History and Theory of Archaeology


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Prior to the late eighteenth century, only a few maritime memorials featured any form of religious symbolism or inscription. The frequency of memorials with religious themes began to increase around the turn of the 1800s and soared dramatically in the second quarter of the nineteenth century. The percentage remained substantial until the end of the Age of Sail. This chapter explores the nature of the nineteenth-century maritime religious boom and places it within its historical context. The boom was part of a larger religious movement that took place in both British and American society. The ideas and motifs found on maritime memorials were directly related to religious trends that took place in both nations beginning in the late eighteenth century. However, rather than mimicking prevalent religious sentiments and forms around them, maritime culture selected which elements of the religious revitalization movement to emphasize in their memorials, thereby exercising cultural agency. The group chose text and emblems that, because they employed maritime symbolism, held deep meaning for the group specifically. Like memorials for the missing, faith was another way by which maritime culture attempted to cope with the deadly nature of seafaring life.

Keywords: agency; Arminianism; Bethel movement; Christian symbolism; evangelism; First Great Awakening; revival; Second Great Awakening

Chapter.  11235 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History and Theory of Archaeology

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