352 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 19 halftones, notes, index
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-3346-6
Published: February 2017
eBook ISBN: 978-0-8078-3819-8
Published: June 2013
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Published by the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture and the University of North Carolina Press
Awards & distinctions
2013 Dale Brown Book Award, Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies
Drawing on German and English archival sources, Erben examines iconic translations that engendered community in colonial Pennsylvania, including William Penn's translingual promotional literature, Francis Daniel Pastorius's multilingual poetics, Ephrata's "angelic" singing and transcendent calligraphy, the Moravians' polyglot missions, and the common language of suffering for peace among Quakers, Pietists, and Mennonites. By revealing a mystical quest for unity, Erben presents a compelling counternarrative to monolingualism and Enlightenment empiricism in eighteenth-century America.
About the Author
Patrick M. Erben is associate professor of English at the University of West Georgia.
For more information about Patrick M. Erben, visit the Author Page.
"Erben brilliantly demonstrates how religion, language, and affect come together in the interrelationships among nations, faiths, and individuals. . . . [This book] redefine[s] the parameters of discussion for colonial English and Germany literary culture in early Pennsylvania."--Journal of American Studies
"Erben’s work uses previously unexploited sources to give a fresh perspective on the founding and early history of Pennsylvania. . . . This is a magnificent book that deserves to be widely read and emulated."--American Historical Review
“[A] wonderfully imaginative work on language and translation. . . . A Harmony of the Spirits is thoroughly worth reading for those interested in the religious and ideological underpinnings of American colonization.”--Journal of American History
“Erben makes compelling arguments. . . . [He] successfully broadens our view of early Pennsylvanians and their efforts to create a harmony of the spirits.”--Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography
“Intriguing. . . [and] remarkably successful in helping readers understand the broader context for many of the religious groups of early Pennsylvania.”--Journal of Moravian History
“Erben has masterfully translated the multilingual sectarian voices of the past into an academic treatise on spiritual cooperation.”--William and Mary Quarterly