We often credit the Transcendentalists with introducing a revolutionary new appreciation for nature into American spirituality when they claimed that God could be found in the forests, mountains, and fields. In Church in the Wild: Evangelicals in Antebellum America
(Harvard University Press, 2019), Brett Grainger reconsiders the history of the years leading up to the Civil War. He argues that it was not the Transcendentalists but evangelical revivalists who transformed the everyday religious life of Americans and spiritualized the natural environment.
Brett Grainger is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Villanova University.
Hillary Kaell co-hosts NBIR and is Associate Professor of Religion at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada.