By John K. Nelson
During this publication, John Nelson reconstructs daily Anglican spiritual perform and adventure in Virginia from the top of the 17th century to the beginning of the yank Revolution. hard past characterizations of the colonial Anglican institution as vulnerable, he unearths the elemental function the church performed within the political, social, and financial in addition to the non secular lives of its parishioners. Drawing on broad examine in parish and county files and different basic resources, Nelson describes Anglican Virginia's parish approach, its parsons, its rituals of worship and rites of passage, and its parishioners' assorted relationships to the church. All colonial Virginians--men and ladies, wealthy and negative, old and young, planters and retailers, servants and slaves, dissenters and freethinkers--belonged to a parish. As such, they have been topic to its levies, its authority over marriage, and different social and financial dictates. as well as its non secular features, the parish supplied crucial take care of the bad, collaborated with the courts to deal with civil disputes, and exerted its effect over many different elements of neighborhood existence. A Blessed corporation demonstrates that, via creatively adapting Anglican parish association and the language, varieties, and modes of Anglican spirituality to the Chesapeake's unique environmental and human stipulations, colonial Virginians sustained a remarkably potent and devoted Anglican church within the outdated Dominion.
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Extra resources for A Blessed Company: Parishes, Parsons, and Parishioners in Anglican Virginia, 1690-1776
Lay Control A fourth feature of the parish system was lay control. On this score both tradition and scholarship have long concurred: ‘‘Power was decentralized, being located in the dense regional networks of gentry families that vied with each other at the county and parish levels. Authority was social in character; it could not be exercised impersonally in the name of an oﬃce or a commission. ’’ 51 Lay control of Virginia’s Anglican Church can be traced to the founding years. Decisive at the beginning was the inability or unwillingness of ecclesiastical authorities in England to provide its infant overseas churches with diocesan supervision.
Full a warden’s work, nor is it likely that such an account was ever kept. But something of the scope and signiﬁcance of the vestry and its wardens can be imaginatively reconstituted by turning our attention in the following chapters to the provisions made for the temporal and spiritual well-being of the parish. . 4 ............................... Levies the telling behaviors that challenge the traditional view of Virginians as religiously indiﬀerent was their willingness to fund the parish system.
In eighteenth-century colonial British America, one would be hard pressed to ﬁnd any religious body that responded more creatively to institutional challenge than did Virginia’s traditional liturgical church. Lay Control A fourth feature of the parish system was lay control. On this score both tradition and scholarship have long concurred: ‘‘Power was decentralized, being located in the dense regional networks of gentry families that vied with each other at the county and parish levels. Authority was social in character; it could not be exercised impersonally in the name of an oﬃce or a commission.
A Blessed Company: Parishes, Parsons, and Parishioners in Anglican Virginia, 1690-1776 by John K. Nelson