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It was indeed possible for Indians and Europeans to live peacefully in early America and for Indians to survive as distinct communities. Faith and Boundaries uses the story of Martha's Vineyard Wampanoags to examine how. On an island marked by centralized English authority, missionary commitment, and an Indian majority, the Wampanoags' adaptation to English culture, especially Christianity, checked violence while safeguarding their land, community, and ironically, even customs. Yet the colonists' exploitation of Indian land and labor exposed the limits of Christian fellowship and thus hardened racial division. The Wampanoags learned about race through this rising bar of civilization - every time they met demands to reform, colonists moved the bar higher until it rested on biological difference. Under the right circumstances, like those on Martha's Vineyard, religion could bridge wide difference between the peoples of early America, but its transcendent power was limited by the divisiveness of race.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780521842808
ISBN-10: 0521842808
Format: Hardback
(228mm x 152mm x 22mm)
Pages: 328
Imprint: Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publish Date: 4-Apr-2005
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Author Biography - David J. Silverman

David J. Silverman is Associate Professor of History at the George Washington University. His several articles include 'Indians, Missionaries, and Religious Translation', which won the Lester J. Cappon award for best essay of 2005 in the William and Mary Quarterly. He completed this book as a Mellon Post-Dissertation Fellow at the American Antiquarian Society.

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