I just received the Fall/Winter 2008 edition of The Journal of Presbyterian History. (It is not yet available on-line). The volume is devoted to Presbyterians in the wake of conflict and schism. Here is an abstract of my lead article: “In Search of Unity: Presbyterians in the Wake of the First Great Awakening.”
This article explores the Presbyterian Church in the wake of the eighteenth-century evangelical revival commonly referred to as the First Great Awakening. This revival badly divided the Presbyterian Church into Old Side and New Side factions and tore at the very fabric of local Presbyterian communities. In the decades following the Awakening, Presbyterians embraced Enlightenment views of morality and order to help them in their efforts to heal the revival wounds and restore unity to the church. Some of the most divisive evangelical Presbyterians during the 1740s repented of their schismatic practices, and Presbyterian communities experienced local awakenings stemming from a renewed sense of harmony and peace. By the 1760s, a strong and reunified Presbyterian denomination was ready to make a significant contribution to a revolutionary age.
The essay draws on some early fruits from my research into Christianity and the American Revolution.
The other articles in the volume are:
D.G. Hart, “After the Breakup, Heartbreak: Conservative Presbyterians without a Common Foe.”
James H. Moorhead, “Mainstream Presbyterians: Putting the Pieces Together Again after the Fundamentalist Controversy.”