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A Democratic Experiment
A Review of
Democracy and the Public Virtue of Religious Nonconformity
Hardcover: Baylor UP, 2017
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Reviewed by James Honig
The dissenting movement 17th and 18th century England has been a lacunae in my knowledge and understanding of church history. While I have read John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress as a young pastor and Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe as a teen and again in college, I had little awareness of Bunyan’s association with the dissenting movement and of Defoe’s, nothing. And while I have read isolated poems of William Blake, never the long and difficult Jerusalem.
That gap has at least been closed by Undomesticated Dissent: Democracy and the Public Virtue of Religious Nonconformity. Curtis Will Freeman, on the faculty of Duke Divinity School, places these three towering figures of literary history firmly into the outline of church history. Freeman tells the story of the works in their historical contexts, and especially their context in the history of the Christian Church, with special attention to the church in North America.