Reflections at the Intersection of American History, Religion, Politics, and Academic Life
Tuesday, September 22, 2015
Transcribing and Digitizing Early American Sermons
This looks like a wonderful project. It appears to be the brainchild of Zach Hutchins of Colorado State University. Here is what it is all about.
Transcribing Early American Manuscript Sermons, or TEAMS, is a collaborative scholarly effort to make the voluminous archival record of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century ecclesiastical worship more accessible to academic researchers, pastors, and the general public. This digital archive houses dozens of sermons transcribed from the papers of Baptist, Episcopalian, Catholic, and Congregational ministers who preached up and down the Atlantic coast of North America.
Many of these sermons combine theological instruction, public reporting, and political persuasion. Early American preaching brought communities together in public assemblies and is an invaluable resource in reconstructing the prevailing religious beliefs and social attitudes of the British colonies of North America and, later, the nascent United States of America. While scholars have long had access to a relatively small and homogenous selection of published sermons, the preaching record made available in this database provides a new and invaluable perspective on early American history and culture. As Yale University historian Harry Stout has argued: notwithstanding the popularity of printed sermons, “Only from the vantage point of unpublished sermons, however, can the full range of colonial preaching be understood.”