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Bible Culture and Authority in the Early United States$
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Seth Perry

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780691179131

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691179131.001.0001

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Authority, Identity, and the Bible in the Early Republic

Authority, Identity, and the Bible in the Early Republic

(p.1) Introduction Authority, Identity, and the Bible in the Early Republic
Bible Culture and Authority in the Early United States

Seth Perry

Princeton University Press

This book examines “the authority of the Bible” in the decades after the American Revolution. The early post-revolutionary period has long been recognized by historians as a tumultuous era for both religion and politics. During these years, the Bible emerged as a source of symbols and models for the creation of authoritative relationships. The phrase “the authority of the Bible” was in reference to the Bible's status as a complicated site of contestation with respect to religious authority. This book explores the print-bible culture that made various forms of bible usage possible in the early Republic. It considers the authoritative importance of explicit reference to Protestant religious authority as an aspect of biblical facility, as well as the association of the Bible with political identity. Finally, it analyzes the place of print-bible culture, citationality, performance, and the scripturalization of biblically resonant visionary texts in earliest Mormonism, and more specifically Joseph Smith.

Keywords:   authority, Bible, religious authority, bible usage, scripturalization, Mormonism, Joseph Smith, citationality, political identity

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