Evangelical Jeremiads and consuming Eves : the relationship of religion and consumerism in Eighteenth-Century Colonial America.


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This thesis examines the commercial world of the American British colonies from the Great Awakening to the American Revolution through the lens of eighteenth century American religious history. It examines evangelical and Quaker responses to the consumer market through published sermons and other religious rhetoric. Colonial ministers discussed the dangers of consumerism through the format of jeremiads, seeing God’s punishment for indulgence in luxury through the turmoil of the eighteenth century. However, revival ministers also used commercial methods to spread the gospel. Additionally, women in particular were a focal point of religious discussion about consumerism. While many historians have focused on the consumer revolution, and many have focused on early American religion, little has been done to unite these threads. This thesis hopes to do that by showing that religious discussion was essential to the American tradition of participating in the marketplace.



Consumerism. Religion.