As we all look forward to the upcoming 2016 S-USIH conference this October at Stanford University, the members of the 2017 conference committee (listed below) are pleased to announce that we have finalized key details for the 2017 conference. The […]
CFP: S-USIH Panels at the OAH Annual Meeting New Orleans, LA April 6-9, 2017 Proposals are due by April 15, 2016. For more information regarding the OAH annual conference please click here The Society for U.S. Intellectual History will present […]
[Address updated: 1/22/2016, 10 am] The Society for U.S. Intellectual History (S-USIH) is currently accepting submissions for the inaugural Dorothy Ross Prize for best article in US intellectual history by an emerging scholar (defined as a current graduate student or […]
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Historians of early America seem increasingly willing to incorporate religious history into the story of the founding of the republic. And as intellectual historians more generally have—quite reluctantly—admitted that religion is part and parcel of their subject matter over the years, so too has the intellectual history of early America conceded ground to scholarship of religion in early America. Some even would go as far as suggesting the appellation of ‘religious turn’ to explain the hold religious history has had over our discipline in recent years.
I’m not so sure, however, that such a sanguine view of our treatment of religious history is warranted. Certainly, recent contemporary indications that religion is not waning as an ideology have sent scholars in search of revisionary accounts of the modern period. And today even the most positivist scholars of the enlightenment and the coming of modernity resort to some degree to religion as a factor in their studies of the modern period. Nevertheless, in early American intellectual history—traditionally an influential subgenre in the area of ‘modernity studies’—religion still occupies a segregated space, at least to some degree. Far from being the first person promoting the notion that we still have not afforded religion its due place in the intellectual history of early America—it has been a talking point for many boosters of religious history and with good reason—I would nonetheless like to add some perspectives I have recently come across to the mix.