Holy Fairs: Scotland and the Making of American Revivalism

Front Cover
Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2001 - History - 278 pages
Winner of the Frank S. and Elizabeth D. Brewer Prize of the American Society of Church History, Holy Fairs traces the roots of American camp-meeting revivalism to the communion festivals of early modern Scotland. This new paperback edition of Leigh Eric Schmidt's seminal work features updated material, a dozen illustrations, and a new preface by the author.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - LudieGrace - LibraryThing

This is a must-read for Presbyterians, for Protestants of American evangelical heritage, and for enthusiasts of American religious history. Schmidt does a wonderful job of showing how revivalism and ... Read full review


From Reformation to Revival
The Rise of a Popular Festival
Covenanters and Communions
High Days in Scotland
The Sacramental Season in Early America
Communions and Camp Meetings
A Visible Gospel
Sinners and the Sacrament
From Diversion to Devotion
Popular Visions and Ministerial Revisions
The Rhythms of Piety
Communion and Consummation
The Autumn of the Sacramental Season
Burns and the Blacksmith
Frequency versus Festivity

The Historical Interpretation of Ritual
Preparation Penitence and Purification
Thresholds and Transformations
Communion and Community
The Mental World of Pastors and People
The Recovery of Popular Piety
The Reform of the Holy Fair
Legacies and Laments

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 82 - And the Lord said unto Moses, Go unto the people, and sanctify them to-day, and to-morrow, and let them wash their clothes ; and be ready against the third day : for the third day the Lord will come down in the sight of all the people upon Mount Sinai.
Page 175 - How monie hearts this day converts O' sinners and o' lasses ! Their hearts o' stane, gin night, are gane As saft as ony flesh is. There's some are fou o...
Page 89 - His peculiar phrases had that force of description that the original scene appeared to be, at that moment, acting before our eyes. We saw the very faces of the Jews: the staring, frightful distortions of malice and rage. We saw the buffet; my soul kindled with a flame of indignation; and my hands were involuntarily and convulsively clinched.
Page 77 - Sanctify ye a fast, call a solemn assembly, gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land into the house of the Lord your God, and cry unto the Lord, "Alas for the day!
Page 159 - But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.
Page 212 - ... moved as the trees of the wood are moved by the wind...
Page 108 - I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love ; endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Page 89 - Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do," — the voice of the preacher, which had all along faltered, grew fainter, and fainter, until his utterance being entirely obstructed by the force of his feelings, he raised his handkerchief to his eyes, and burst into a loud and irrepressible flood of grief.
Page 36 - I verily believe there were more souls converted to Christ in that short period of time, than in any season since the Reformation, though of triple its duration.

About the author (2001)

Leigh Eric Schmidt is Edward C. Mallinckrodt University Professor at Washington University in St. Louis. He is the author of numerous books, including "Heaven s Bride: The Unprintable Life of Ida C. Craddock, American Mystic, Scholar, Sexologist, Martyr, and Madwoman", "HearingThings: Religion, Illusion, and the American Enlightenment", and "Consumer Rites: The Buying and Selling of American Holidays".

Bibliographic information