"In this finely-grained and surprising study, George W. Harper argues convincingly that Boston churches in the era of the Great Awakening rose and fell on their pastors' commitment to effective care of their congregations. By examining closely the demographic characteristics of Boston's Congregational churches, Harper takes the Great Awakening beyond the Old Light/New Light theological split and allows us to see what was actually happening in the churches between pastors and parishioners."
--Thomas S. Kidd, Associate Professor of History, Baylor University
"This book represents a first class example of 'microhistory' as it examines the capital city of Boston during the eighteenth-century Great Awakening. By imaginatively exploring baptismal and membership records and fusing them with more traditional sources, George Harper has constructed a model study of confrontation and accommodation in
the most divisive religious event in colonial America. In this book complex theological debates assume a compelling life of their own told in an engaging and easily comprehended fashion. This is 'must' reading for anyone engaged in the study of religioin in colonial America."
--Harry S. Stout
Jonathan Edwards Professor of American Religious History Chair, Department of Religious Studies
"A thorough and thoughtful look at the inner workings of Boston's Congregational churches during an important time of transition. Professor Harper's careful analysis of membership data and changing dynamics of pastoral care make this book a useful tool for researchers and historians, and for anyone interested in the phenomenon of church growth and renewal in the present day."
Executive Director, Congregational Library, Boston, MA
"The Great Awakening in Boston--the most important religious event of the eighteenth century in America's most religious city--has been an oddly neglected subject. George Harper's fine-grained and nuanced study of Boston's clergy during the revivals goes a long way toward filling this gap, by providing the most detailed view we have of what actually
happened in the churches of Boston in these turbulent years."
Associate Professor of History
University of California-Berkeley