The Protestant Interest

New England After Puritanism

Thomas Kidd

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September 3, 2013
224 pages, 5 1/2 x 8 1/4
ISBN: 9780300205046

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During the early eighteenth century, colonial New England witnessed the end of Puritanism and the emergence of a revivalist religious movement that culminated in the evangelical awakenings of the 1740s. This engrossing book explores the religious history of New England during the period and offers new reasons for this change in cultural identity.

After England’s Glorious Revolution, says Thomas Kidd, New Englanders abandoned their previous hostility toward Britain, viewing it as the chosen leader in the Protestant fight against world Catholicism. They also imagined themselves part of an international Protestant community and replaced their Puritan beliefs with a revival-centered pan-Protestantism. Kidd discusses the rise of “the Protestant interest” and provides a compelling argument about the origins of both eighteenth-century revivalism and the global evangelical movement.

Thomas S. Kidd is assistant professor of history at Baylor University.

"Sound in its scholarship, cogent in its arguments, and creative in its historical reconstruction, this book is a first-rate contribution to both American religious history and the early history of New England."—Mark Noll, Wheaton College

"A valuable contribution to resolving the puzzle over New England's religious culture after 1689."—Richard P. Gildrie, American Historical Review

"[A] well crafted study, which makes a solid contribution to the literature on Puritanism and its transformation."—Howard A. Barnes, History: Reviews of New Books

"[Kidd's] arguments are cogent and persuasive, and help to explain a transitional stage in the theological culture in New England."—Alex Kish, Virginia Quarterly Review

"Kidd's portrait of Yankee evangelicals should keep his book in shops and on college syllabi for many years to come."—Timothy A. Milford, The Catholic Historical Review

"Kidd writes with clarity and develops the narrative with the apt citation of numerous illuminating primary sources. . . . Offers a fresh and compelling case that explains important moments and developments in New England before the Great Awakening. Yale University Press is to be commended for producing such a delightful edition of such an interesting and rewarding text."—Michael McClenahan, The Journal of Religion
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