The New England Soul: Preaching and Religious Culture in Colonial New England

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9780195039580: The New England Soul: Preaching and Religious Culture in Colonial New England

Throughout the colonial era, New England's only real public spokesmen were the Congregational ministers. One result is that the ideological origins of the American Revolution are nowhere more clearly seen than in the sermons they preached. The New England Soul is the first comprehensive analysis of preaching in New England from the founding of the Puritan colonies to the outbreak of the Revolution. Using a multi-disciplinary approach--including analysis of rhetorical style and concept of identity and community--Stout examines more than two thousand sermons spanning five generations of ministers, including such giants of the pulpit as John Cotton, Thomas Shepard, Increase and Cotton Mather, George Whitefield, Jonathan Edwards, Jonathan Mayhew, and Charles Chauncy. Equally important, however, are the manuscript sermons of many lesser known ministers, which never appeared in print. By integrating the sermons of ordinary ministers with the printed sermons of their more illustrious contemporaries, Stout reconstructs the full import of the colonial sermon as a multi-faceted institution that served both religious and political purposes, and explicated history and society to the New England Puritans for one and a half centuries.

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From the Back Cover:

Stout has created a field of scholarship hitherto neglected---the manuscript sermon as a source of religious culture in colonial times. More than that, he has shown the extent to which sermon notes add to our knowledge of the times, notably for the period of the Great Awakening. And he has done so with great insight.

About the Author:

Harry S. Stout is at Yale University.

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Stout, Harry S.
Published by Oxford University Press (1986)
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ISBN 10: 0195039580 ISBN 13: 9780195039580
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