Readers, writers, and missionary print culture in the early American republic.


Access rights

No access – contact

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



This thesis examines American Christians’ sense of citizenry during the first several decades of the foreign missions movement and interrogates how revivalism, denominationalism, the mass media market, and global Christianity converged in civic religion. Taking missionary print culture as its main source base for understanding the mentality of American missionaries and their advocates, this thesis is driven by one overarching question: how did reading about foreign missions influence personal and group identity in America? The foreign missions movement concurrently challenged and affirmed Americans’ longtime nationalistic feeling by extending their sympathies beyond the physical borders of their country. Paradoxically, they could become more American by engaging in the new global networks that foreign missions provided. Reading about the success and failure of foreign missions taught Americans to conceptualize their devotional lives, financial resources, educational institutions, and children in novel ways.