The Decline of Protestant Influence in the Late 19th Century

Changes caused Protestants to lose the privileges they had enjoyed in public life, and they wanted government to get them back. The Decline of Protestant Influence The late 19th century was a bad time for American Protestants. Agnosticism and atheism became popular, especially among younger intellectuals. Rising numbers of non-Protestant immigrants brought greater religious diversity.[…]

Religious Tests for Witnesses in 19th-Century America

Although Article VI of the U.S. Constitution prohibits any religious test “as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States,” and the First Amendment prohibits Congress from adopting laws “respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” none of these provisions initially applied to the states. Remnants of[…]

God, Government, and Roger Williams’ Big Idea

The Puritan minister originated a principle that remains contentious to this day—separation of church and state. Even the most bitter opponents of Roger Williams recognized in him that combination of charm, confidence and intensity a later age would call charisma. They did not regard such traits as assets, however, for those traits only made the[…]

Massachusetts Bay Colony Puritans and Theocracy in the 17th Century

They wanted to bring about the reform of Protestantism throughout the English Empire. “A City upon a Hill” A much larger group of English Puritans left England in the 1630s, establishing the Massachusetts Bay Colony, the New Haven Colony, the Connecticut Colony, and Rhode Island. Unlike the exodus of young men to the Chesapeake colonies,[…]

Clergy, Priests, and Priestesses in Ancient Egypt

The clergy of ancient Egypt did not preach, interpret scripture, proselytize, or conduct weekly services. Introduction The ancient Egyptians understood that their gods had prevailed over the forces of chaos through the creation of the world and relied upon humanity’s help to maintain it. The people of Mesopotamia held this same belief but felt they[…]

Enheduanna: Ancient Poet, Priestess, and Empire Builder

She is best known for her works, Inninsagurra, Ninmesarra, and Inninmehusa, all three hymns to the goddess Inanna. Introduction Enheduanna (2285-2250 BCE) is the world’s first author and was the daughter (either literally or figuratively) of the great empire-builder Sargon of Akkad (2334-2279 BCE). Her name translates from the Akkadian as `high priestess of An’,[…]