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Religious Life of Virginia in the Seventeenth Century The Faith of Our Fathers   By: (1875-1963)

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In "Religious Life of Virginia in the Seventeenth Century: The Faith of Our Fathers," author G. MacLaren Brydon offers a comprehensive and insightful exploration of religious practices and beliefs in colonial Virginia. With meticulous research and an engaging writing style, Brydon takes readers on a captivating journey through time, shedding light on the faith and religious experiences of early settlers.

One of the book's strengths is Brydon's ability to seamlessly interweave historical facts with personal narratives and anecdotes. By incorporating firsthand accounts and diaries of individuals who lived during this period, he brings the religious landscape of colonial Virginia to life. These accounts not only provide valuable details about religious rituals and practices but also offer a glimpse into the lives of ordinary people, their struggles, and their unwavering faith.

Brydon delves into various aspects of religious life, exploring how multiple denominations coexisted and interacted. The interplay between Anglicans, Puritans, Quakers, and other religious groups is vividly depicted, illustrating the complex dynamics that characterized the spiritual fabric of early Virginia. The author's balanced approach avoids bias and paints a nuanced picture of the challenges faced by these diverse communities as they sought to establish their respective religious traditions.

Moreover, through a meticulous examination of primary sources, Brydon sheds light on the influence of religious life on various aspects of colonial society. He explores how faith shaped the political, social, and cultural dimensions of Virginia, detailing how religious beliefs influenced interactions between settlers and Indigenous communities, the establishment of laws, and the development of educational institutions.

While Brydon's research is extensive and well-documented, the text occasionally becomes dense and laden with information. Some readers may find certain chapters overwhelming, as the author delves deeply into specific religious texts and theological debates. However, this level of detail enhances the book's credibility as a scholarly work, ensuring that it will be a valuable resource for researchers and academics studying this period in American history.

"Religious Life of Virginia in the Seventeenth Century" is an invaluable addition to the field of colonial studies, shedding light on an often overlooked aspect of early American history. Brydon's meticulous research, engaging storytelling, and nuanced analysis make this book an enlightening read for anyone interested in understanding the religious foundations that shaped the early development of the United States.

First Page:


The Faith of Our Fathers

By GEORGE MACLAREN BRYDON Historiographer of Diocese of Virginia



Jamestown 350th Anniversary Historical Booklet, Number 10



Chapter Page

One Beginnings 1

Two The Colonists at Worship 6

Three Making Bricks Without Straw 12

Four Building a Christian Community 22

Five The Coming of the Negro 26

Six Fighting Adverse Conditions 34

Seven The Last Decade 42

Bibliography 46

Appendix A 47

Appendix B 48


The settlement of Englishmen at Jamestown in 1607 was the outgrowth of a vision of transatlantic expansion which had been growing stronger steadily during the preceding generation. It was in the following of that vision that Queen Elizabeth granted to a group of men headed by Sir Walter Raleigh the authority to establish a colony upon the remote shores of the Atlantic ocean, and out of the plans of this group came the ill fated colony which was started at Roanoke Island, in what is now the State of North Carolina, in the year 1585... Continue reading book >>

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