I take a walk through history as much as I can. On vacation. On walks in my hometown. Through old houses. Through old photo albums. In the pages of books. I’m enthralled with history. With that comes a desire to understand the people in those communities that seep through the time warp into my present mind.
I’ve found that the church or religion or belief in God, plays a great role in the lives of the ones who walked before us. My research for Revolutionary Faith finds the actions of the community of Charles Town wrapped around the spiritual beliefs and actions of the citizens. Religious affiliations help to mold the thoughts and therefore, actions of the members. Charles Town 1770s held a religious tolerance view that the other cities and colonies did not necessarily hold. This ecumenical existence brings the whole city together in support of the most important decision of their lives. It is true that the Church of England had the largest congregation and pull, but the other denominations and religions had a voice and role too.
My characters attend St. Philip’s Church, a Church of England congregation. The importance of their participation with this group of citizens molds their lives. They find the community of faith a stronghold in their dramatic lives in the pre-revolutionary and revolutionary stages. Marriages, burials, baptisms, worship, dinners, celebrations all revolve around the group of people they share through affiliation of the church. I read a very informative book about St. Philip’s and her growth and influence in the community (Book link). I’m sure there is such a book about your own affiliation out there.
Is it the same today? Do you find religion or faith to be one of the foundations of community?