A Cheerful and Comfortable Faith

Anglican Religious Practice in the Elite Households of Eighteenth-Century Virginia

Lauren F. Winner

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October 19, 2010
288 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
39 scattered b/w
ISBN: 9780300124699
Hardcover

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e-book

This enlightening book examines the physical objects found in elite Virginia households of the eighteenth century to discover what they can tell us about their owners’ lives and religious practices. Lauren F. Winner looks closely at punch bowls, needlework, mourning jewelry, baptismal gowns, biscuit molds, cookbooks, and many other items, illuminating the ways Anglicanism influenced daily activities and attitudes in colonial Virginia, particularly in the households of the gentry.

Lauren F. Winner, an assistant professor at Duke Divinity School, lectures and writes widely about Christianity. She lives in Durham, NC.

“Few historical works I have read so fully re-create the sensory world of people in a particular time and place in colonial American history. In this sense this is a wonderfully original work, deeply informed by scholarship but branching far beyond what has gone before.”—Paul Harvey, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs

“I am particularly impressed by the creativity the author shows in identifying revealing examples of material life, especially domestic life, analyzing them with both respect and originality, and connecting those examples to a range of other issues in the religious lives of Virginia Anglicans and their society.”—Ted Ownby, University of Mississippi

"How do you capture the nature of Anglican piety in colonial Virginia? Lauren Winner does it by linking household objects to theological and devotional books and religious practice. Her astute analysis takes us to the heart of eighteenth-century Anglican religion—in Virginia's houses where the needlework, walnut tables, prayer books, and silver bowls she examines once resided. The result is a landmark work in material culture and religious studies scholarship."—Richard Lyman Bushman, author of The Refinement of America: Persons, Houses, Cities

"A very satisfying book, persuasive in showing how material culture and household devotion are central to the workings of 'lived' Anglicanism in eighteenth-century Virginia."—David D. Hall, Harvard Divinity School

"Those with a keen interest in the role of religion in early America will find a wealth of informed scholarship and evocative descriptions in this volume."—Christopher Schoppa, Washington Post

"Winner's work is thoroughly and imaginatively researched, informed but not overwhelmed by theory, adequately illustrated, and accessibly written. This book is an important contribution to Anglican, elite, Colonial, material, and gendered dimensions of American religious life."—P. W. Williams, CHOICE

Selected as a Choice Outstanding Academic Title for 2011 in the Religion category
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On Wayward Gifts, Characteristic Damage, and Sin

Lauren F. Winner

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