Exploring the richness of American thought and experience in the mid-eighteenth century, Alan Heimert develops the intellectual and cultural significance of the religious divisions and debates engendered by one of the most critical episodes in American intellectual history, the Great Awakening of the 1740's. The author's concern throughout is to discover what were the essential issues in a dispute that was not so much a controversy between theologians as a vital competition for the ideological allegiance of the American people. This is not a standard history of any one area of ideas. Mr. Heimert's sources include nearly everything published in America from 1735. His study, in its range and conception, is an original contribution to an understanding of the relationship between colonial religious thought and the evolution of American history.