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A Cheerful and Comfortable FaithAnglican Religious Practice in the Elite Households of Eighteenth-Century Virginia$
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Lauren Winner

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780300124699

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300124699.001.0001

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Introduction Kitchenware That Wants You to Love Your Neighbor

Introduction Kitchenware That Wants You to Love Your Neighbor

Household Religious Practice in Anglican Virginia

(p.1) Introduction Kitchenware That Wants You to Love Your Neighbor
A Cheerful and Comfortable Faith

Lauren F. Winner

Yale University Press

This chapter argues that in the highly laicized environment which was Virginia's Anglican Church, laypeople not only adapted English forms of church governance to the new Virginia environment. In the absence of a strong clergy—and thus in a religious environment where clerically dominated forms of religion such as preaching and the Eucharist could not occupy a central place in everyday piety—laypeople engaged in vital religious practices in the household. To venture a description of religion in early Virginia is to wade into a historical literature that is well established. In 1982 the terms of scholarly discussion of Anglicanism in colonial Virginia were set by Rhys Isaac. Gentry women had a greater opportunity for active participation in religious ritual than women had in communities where religious ritual unfolded principally in church buildings, and where religious subjectivity was more strictly ordered around preaching and the celebration of sacraments.

Keywords:   laicized environment, Virginia, Anglican church, laypeople, Eucharist, Anglicanism, gentry women, sacraments

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