Love and Sin
Love and Sin
Sense and Sentimentalism in Christian Globalism
This chapter discusses informal evangelical theologies that fused the circulation of human love and Divine Love into a basis for U.S. Christian globalism. It begins by clarifying how nineteenth-century Christians came to understand childhood innocence as a shared attribute of humankind. Without this revolutionary shift, sponsorship would likely never have come about. The chapter then looks at how the rising middle classes grappled with vexed questions about adult sin among heathens and in their own communities. Ultimately, a productive tension between a growing theology of love and earlier ideas about sin became the engine driving thousands of nineteenth-century Americans to band together, announce their sins, make objects, save pennies, and adopt a child abroad.
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