Book cover of Darkness Falls on the Land of Light: Experiencing Religious Awakenings in Eighteenth-Century New England by Douglas L. Winiarski
Colonial Period

Darkness Falls on the Land of Light: Experiencing Religious Awakenings in Eighteenth-Century New England

This sweeping history of popular religion in eighteenth-century New England examines the experiences of ordinary people living through extraordinary times. Drawing on an unprecedented quantity of letters, diaries, and testimonies, Douglas Winiarski recovers the pervasive and vigorous lay piety of the early eighteenth century. George Whitefield’s preaching tour of 1740 called into question the fundamental assumptions of this thriving religious culture. Incited by Whitefield and fascinated by miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit—visions, bodily fits, and sudden conversions—countless New Englanders broke ranks with family, neighbors, and ministers who dismissed their religious experiences as delusive enthusiasm. […Learn More]