Jonathan Dickinson and the Formative Years of American Presbyterianism

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One of the founders of the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University) and its first president, Dickinson was a central figure during the First Great Awakening and one of the leading lights of colonial religious life. In this first-ever biography of the man, Bryan Le Beau examines Dickinson's writings and actions, showing him to have been a driving force in forming the American Presbyterian Church. Dickinson accommodated diverse traditions in the early church and grappled with the classic dilemma of American religious history - the simultaneous longing for freedom of conscience and the need for order - as he addressed concerns central to the early American religious experience, including denominationalism and religious liberty. This account of Dickinson's life and writings provides a rare window into a time of intense turmoil and creativity in American religious history.