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Blackwell North Amer Bellamy was New England's consummate theologian of evangelical Calvinism. He conceived the New Divinity movement - based on innovations on Edwards's teachings - and from 1750 to 1775 enjoyed renown as a popular preacher, controversialist, leader of church affairs in New England, and influential teacher of other pastors. Set in the context of an emergent market economy, the war against France, and the politics of rebellion, Bellamy's story illuminates the relationship between religion and public issues in colonial New England, and shows how Calvinism spoke to the concerns of ordinary New Englanders during momentous transformations in America's religious, social, and political life.
Oxford University Press This study of religious thought and social life in early America focuses on the career of Joseph Bellamy (1719-1790), a Connecticut Calvinist minister noted chiefly for his role in originating the New Divinity--the influential theological movement that evolved from the writings of Bellamy's teacher, Jonathan Edwards. Tracing Bellamy's contributions as a preacher, noted controversialist, and church leader from the Great Awakening to the American Revolution, Mark Valeri explores why the New Divinity was so immensely popular. Set in social contexts such as the emergent market economy, the war against France, and the politics of rebellion, Valeri shows, Bellamy's story reveals much about the relationship between religion and public issues in colonial New England.