ideas associated with the European Enlightenment, while giving these beliefs and ideas a cast favourable to Protestantism. Leaders of the Revolution and drafters of the Constitution - people of influence such as George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and many more-while remaining responsible members ofthe Congregational churches in the north and the Anglican, later Episcopal, church in the south, breathed the spirit of this version of the Enlightenment.2
So strong was their attachment to its broad principles and so articulate were they in expressing these principles that one historian, Crane Brinton, noted that there arose what he called 'clearly a new religion', which he named 'simply Enlightenment, with a capital E'.3 It is oversimplifying, but not grossly so, to see the division in the religious ranks as featuring on the one hand, the religion of the heart - the Awakenings accented the emotive and experiential features of Christianity - and on the other, the religion of the head - the American Enlightenment leaders saw themselves being devoted to reason above all. There were many reasons for believers and other citizens to expect a clash between the two. Yet, curiously, many of the themes and approaches of both came to be blended in the public expression of religion in the life of the new nation.4
Those who reckon with American religion also pay attention to the powerful but narrowly focused faith embodied in formal religious institutions that came to be called denominations - Congregational, Episcopal, Presbyterian, and the like - and to the more generalized civic and public forms of faith. The sociologist Peter Berger has called such genera a 'sacred canopy' over the conventional religious forms, covering as it did aspects of church religion, public prayer, and the invocation of the divine in military and state-making affairs. 5
To speak in these two sets of terms is to assume certain definitions or descriptions of religion as such. Religion, first, is focused on that which concerns people ultimately. This was evident at that time in fierce debates over personal conversion and morality in the churches, but also in religious devotion to state and nation. Secondly, people form communities in the name of religion. It was in this context that the modern denomination was born, denomination being a neutral term applied to all faiths, which now occupied a level playing-field as the once-established churches lost their legal privileges. Further, religious people gravitate towards the use ofmyths and symbols, rites, and ceremonies. These were evident throughout the period in the services of Christian worship, which included preaching, prayer, and sacramental life. But the Revolution also impelled and inspired leaders to make use of mythic
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