Edwin Gaustad, 1923-2011

Paul Harvey

It's a sad week for American history scholars, with the passing of Manning Marable just on the verge of the publication of his magnum opus, and now of Edwin Gaustad, an eminence grise of and prolific scholar in American religious history. The New York Times has his obituary here. A brief excerpt:

Although his principal field was colonial religious history, Professor Gaustad ranged far and wide as a scholar. He explored the contested territory of religious liberty, pluralism and dissent in colonial America, but he also wrote general histories that carried the story forward to the present day and published a series of atlases, frequently updated, that gave a geographical picture of religious belief in the United States. His first book, “The Great Awakening in New England” (1957), made the case that the religious revival fanned by preachers like Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield had more than religious importance, profoundly affecting political and intellectual life in America. He also challenged the revisionist view that the movement was really an economic and class insurgency, arguing that it enjoyed support among all classes.


Anonymous said…
sad again!
Kelly Baker said…
RIP Edwin Gaustad, an excellent American religious historian.
Anonymous said…
Being an atheist, I still favor men of high integrity in their scholarly approach to subjects. Edwin Gaustad met that bar. Sad indeed.