Early New England: A Covenanted Society

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Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2005 - History - 460 pages
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The idea of covenant was at the heart of early New England society. In this singular book David Weir explores the origins and development of covenant thought in America by analyzing the town and church documents written and signed by seventeenth-century New Englanders. Unmatched in the breadth of its scope, this study takes into account all of the surviving covenants in all of the New England colonies. Weir's comprehensive survey of seventeenth-century covenants leads to a more complex picture of early New England than what emerges from looking at only a few famous civil covenants like the Mayflower Compact. His work shows covenant theology being transformed into a covenantal vision for society but also reveals the stress and strains on church-state relationships that eventually led to more secularized colonial governments in eighteenth-century New England. He concludes that New England colonial society was much more "English" and much less "American" than has often been thought, and that the New England colonies substantially mirrored religious and social change in Old England.
  

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Weir is both a brilliant scholar and a true Christian!

Contents

Introduction
1
The European Background
15
The Colonial Charters of Early New England
24
The Civil Covenants of Early New England
73
The Church Covenants of Early New England I The Standing Order
136
The Church Covenants of Early New England II The Dissenters
172
The Covenantal Confessions of Early New England The Seeds of Diversity
191
Conclusion
221
A Listing of SeventeenthCentury Towns Churches and Native American Praying Places in or Related to New England Including a Checklist of Coven...
243
Typology of Early New England Local Civil Covenants Arranged Chronologically
298
Bibliographical Essay
304
Notes
355
Index
439
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