Ulster-American Religion recounts the attempt by Presbyterian leaders to use their religious belief as a self-chosen ground on which to contend for societal leadership. In Ulster and America over the last century and a half, a hoped-for Presbyterian dominion was seen as the desire to give society moral leadership. Livingstone and Wells suggest that this leadership offered by Presbyterians was, over time, accorded increasingly less welcome by outside organizations in the two societies. Both conservative and evangelical Presbyterians came to believe that the tide of history in the modern world was against them and their moral vision. Those who saw themselves as naturally appointed leaders in education, science, theology, and politics were puzzled, even saddened, by challenges to that leadership. For them, it was essential to maintain the boundaries of the mind, the spirit, and the nation.
Ulster-American Religion is a salient observation on the history of the cultural connections between Ulster and America for students of history, theology, politics, sociology, and Irish studies.