Summarize the theme of religion in Chesapeake by James Michener.

Religion is a central theme in the novel and is mainly represented by the Steed family and the Paxmore family through their religious debates and arguments.

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Chesapeake is 1978 historical fiction novel written by American Pulitzer Prize-winning author James A. Michener. The novel was praised for its historical accuracy and well-written, well-researched narrative. Michener incorporated several socially relevant themes in the novel, such as slavery, wealth and poverty, religion, the importance of family, and the meaning of tradition.

Chesapeake tells the individual stories of the various families who lived in the Chesapeake Bay esturary, located off the coasts of the US states of Maryland and Vriginia, in a time period stretching from the late fifteenth century all the way to the late twentieth century.

Some of these families are the Steeds and the Paxmores. The Steeds are a Roman Catholic family who believe that they are the only ones who truly preserve Christianity in its purest and most original form. The Steeds are wealthy land owners and have a lot of slaves working for them in their plantations, as they believe that slavery is not morally wrong. Conversely, the Paxmores are Quakers that lean towards Protestant values and believe that God is present in each and every human being and that humans are capable of communicating with God when they are in peace and in perfect harmony with their inner self. The Paxmores managed to get rich when one of their ancestors learned how to build ships and boats and became a very successful business owner in the area. They are one of the few families that are firmly against slavery.

The Steeds and the Paxmores are constantly arguing with each other about the meaning of God and religion and about slavery. The Steeds are convinced that they're not doing anything wrong by owning slaves, while the Paxmores believe that slavery goes against God's will and law. Michener presents the theme of religion mainly through the never-ending religious debates of the two families.

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