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The Chance of Salvation: A History of Conversion in America (edition 2017)
by Lincoln A. Mullen (Author)
The Chance of Salvation: A History of Conversion in America by Lincoln A. Mullen
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The Chance of Salvation offers a history of conversions in the United States which shows how religious identity came to be a matter of choice. Shortly after the American Revolution, people in the United States increasingly encountered an expanded array of religious options. Evangelical Protestants began an effort to convert Americans, while developing new practices that emphasized conversion as an immediate choice. Their missionary effort extended to Native American nations such as the Cherokee in the Southeast, who received Christianity on their own terms. Enslaved and newly freed African Americans likewise created a variety of Christian conversion that was centered on religious hope and eschatological expectation. Mormons, drawing on earlier Protestant practices and beliefs, enthusiastically proselytized for a new tradition that emphasized individual choice and free will. By uncovering the way that religious identity is structured as an obligatory decision, this book explains why Americans change their religions so much, and why the United States is both highly religious in terms of religious affiliation and very secular in the sense that no religion is an unquestioned default.--
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