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  • Christine Heyrman, Robert W. and Shirley P. Grimble Professor of American History in the History Department at the University of Delaware

    Robert W. and Shirley P. Grimble Professor of American History
    University of Delaware
    204 John Munroe Hall
    Newark, DE 19716
    302-831-2373
    T/R 12:30-2:00

    Biography

    ​Christine Leigh Heyrman specializes in early American social and cultural history. She received her B.A. from Macalester College in 1971 and her Ph.D. from Yale in 1977. Her publications include Commerce and Culture: The Maritime Communities of Colonial Massachusetts, 1690-1750 and Southern Cross: The Beginnings of the Bible Belt. Her most recent book, American Apostles, explores the first encounters of American evangelicals with the Islamic world.

    Publications

    Books:

    • American Apostles: When Evangelicals Entered the World of Islam (Hill and Wang, 2015).
    • Southern Cross: The Beginnings of the Bible Belt (The University of North Carolina Press, 1998).
    • Commerce and Culture: The Maritime Communities of Colonial Massachusetts, 1690-1750 (W.W. Norton & Company, 1986).

 

 

204 John Munroe HallNewark, DE 19716<div class="ExternalClass8C826E620E0647AF8EA2BFED83571886"><p>​Christine Leigh Heyrman specializes in early American social and cultural history. She received her B.A. from Macalester College in 1971 and her Ph.D. from Yale in 1977. Her publications include <em>Commerce and Culture: The Maritime Communities of Colonial Massachusetts, 1690-1750</em> and <em>Southern Cross: The Beginnings of the Bible Belt. </em>Her most recent book, <em>American Apostles</em>, explores the first encounters of American evangelicals with the Islamic world.</p></div><div class="ExternalClass2B797A4E9DB24F83B28722037707438C"><h4>Books:</h4><ul><li><em>American Apostles: When Evangelicals Entered the World of Islam</em> (Hill and Wang, 2015).</li><li><em>Southern Cross: The Beginnings of the Bible Belt</em> (The University of North Carolina Press, 1998).</li><li><em>Commerce and Culture: The Maritime Communities of Colonial Massachusetts, 1690-1750</em> (W.W. Norton & Company, 1986).</li></ul></div>Publicationscheyrman@udel.eduHeyrman, Christine302-831-2373<img alt="Professor Christine Heyrman" src="/Images%20Bios/faculty/Heyman_Christine.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />Robert W. and Shirley P. Grimble Professor of American HistoryT/R 12:30-2:00http://primus.nss.udel.edu/CoursesSearch/search-results?first_instr_name=Heyrman

 

 

American Apostles: When Evangelicals Entered the World of IslamHeyrman, ChristineHill and Wang2015https://us.macmillan.com/books/9780809023981<p><strong>The surprising tale of the first American Protestant missionaries to proselytize in the Muslim world</strong></p><p>In <em>American Apostles</em>, the Bancroft Prize-winning historian Christine Leigh Heyrman brilliantly chronicles the first fateful collision between American missionaries and the diverse religious cultures of the Levant. Pliny Fisk, Levi Parsons, Jonas King: though virtually unknown today, these three young New Englanders commanded attention across the United States two hundred years ago. Poor boys steeped in the biblical prophecies of evangelical Protestantism, they became the founding members of the Palestine mission and ventured to Ottoman Turkey, Egypt, and Syria, where they sought to expose the falsity of Muhammad's creed and to restore these bastions of Islam to true Christianity. Not only among the first Americans to travel throughout the Middle East, the Palestine missionaries also played a crucial role in shaping their compatriots' understanding of the Muslim world.As Heyrman shows, the missionaries thrilled their American readers with tales of crossing the Sinai on camel, sailing a canal boat up the Nile, and exploring the ancient city of Jerusalem. But their private journals and letters often tell a story far removed from the tales they spun for home consumption, revealing that their missions did not go according to plan. Instead of converting the Middle East, the members of the Palestine mission themselves experienced unforeseen spiritual challenges as they debated with Muslims, Jews, and Eastern Christians and pursued an elusive Bostonian convert to Islam. As events confounded their expectations, some of the missionaries developed a cosmopolitan curiosity about-even an appreciation of-Islam. But others devised images of Muslims for their American audiences that would both fuel the first wave of Islamophobia in the United States and forge the future character of evangelical Protestantism itself.</p><p><em>American Apostles </em>brings to life evangelicals' first encounters with the Middle East and uncovers their complicated legacy. The Palestine mission held the promise of acquainting Americans with a fuller and more accurate understanding of Islam, but ultimately it bolstered a more militant Christianity, one that became the unofficial creed of the United States over the course of the nineteenth century. The political and religious consequences of that outcome endure to this day.</p>
Southern Cross: The Beginnings of the Bible BeltHeyrman, ChristineThe University of North Carolina Press1998https://www.uncpress.org/book/9780807847169/southern-cross/?title_id=249<p> </p><h4>Awards & distinctions</h4><p> </p><p>1998 Bancroft Prize, Columbia University</p><p> </p><p> </p><p>Revealing a surprising paradox at the heart of America's "Bible Belt," Christine Leigh Heyrman examines how the conservative religious traditions so strongly associated with the South evolved out of an evangelical Protestantism that began with very different social and political attitudes.</p><p> Although the American Revolution swept away the institutional structures of the Anglican Church in the South, the itinerant evangelical preachers who subsequently flooded the region at first encountered resistance from southern whites, who were affronted by their opposition to slaveholding and traditional ideals of masculinity, their lack of respect for generational hierarchy, their encouragement of women's public involvement in church affairs, and their allowance for spiritual intimacy with blacks. As Heyrman shows, these evangelicals achieved dominance in the region over the course of a century by deliberately changing their own "traditional values" and assimilating the conventional southern understandings of family relationships, masculine prerogatives, classic patriotism, and martial honor. In so doing, religious groups earlier associated with nonviolence and antislavery activity came to the defense of slavery and secession and the holy cause of upholding both by force of arms--and adopted the values we now associate with the "Bible Belt."</p>
Commerce and Culture: The Maritime Communities of Colonial Massachusetts, 1690-1750Heyrman, ChristineW.W. Norton & Company1986http://books.wwnorton.com/books/webad.aspx?id=11192<p>​Examines the history of the maritime communities of Gloucester and Marblehead and notes the paradoxical retention of their conservative lifestyle in the face of economic prosperity.</p>

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  • Department of History
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  • University of Delaware
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