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A ‘Ruining Singularity’: Francis Makemie on Civil and Religious Isolationism



The Presbyterian minister Francis Makemie (1658–1708) opposed what he called a “ruining Singularity” in colonial American civil and religious life. In an open letter to the inhabitants of Maryland and Virginia and in his response to the Quaker theologian George Keith (1638–1716), Makemie opposed isolationism in colonial living as well as in the Christian church. In so doing, Makemie was advancing a vision of human flourishing as inherently connectional, ordered, and interdependent. Makemie’s writings are significant for the way they highlight an early period in the development of concepts of human flourishing in America.

Andrew M. McGinnis, "A 'Ruining Singularity': Francis Makemie on Civil and Religious Isolationism," Journal of Markets & Morality 19, no. 2 (Fall 2016): 339-351

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