A Cautious Enthusiasm
Mystical Piety and Evangelicalism in Colonial South Carolina
Taking his study even deeper into the religious life of lowcountry society, Smith identifies radically pietistic elements, some of which originated in the mystical writings and practices of European Roman Catholics, German Pietists, and Huguenot Calvinists. Central to this study is the recognition of Catholic mysticism's impact on the experiential side of early evangelicalism, a subject rarely explored in historical works.
A Cautious Enthusiasm provides a rare examination of Great Awakening revivalism among lowcountry Anglicans by tracing the European origins into the lowcountry South. This study demonstrates how elements of mystical religiosity prodded some to associate evangelical revivalists with Catholicism and displays how subjective elements of religion contributed to a unique patriotic consensus among lowcountry Anglicans in the Revolutionary era.
"A carefully considered exploration of the pliant, bridge-building spiritualities of evangelical dissenters in the colonial-Revolutionary Carolina Low Country, as influenced by Continental pietist enthusiasm and Roman Church mysticism — tracing this influence upon lay Anglicans in the established power structure, Smith contributes a valuable new dimension to the history of the Awakening."—Kevin Lewis, University of South Carolina
"Smith is thoroughly convincing in demonstrating the flexibility of an Anglican evangelicalism rooted in pietism and Catholic mysticism within South Carolinian elite society."—Gregory A. Michna, Books on the South
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