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

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Oxford University Press, Incorporated, 1986 - Religion - 398 pages
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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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The New England soul: preaching and religious culture in colonial New England

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Stout provides an exhaustive, scholarly survey of the content of both regular and special-occasion sermons in New England from 1630 to 1776. Unlike most previous studies, this monograph treats ... Read full review


The Institutional Setting of the Sermon
Regular Preaching and the Sequence of Salvation

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About the author (1986)

Harry S. Stout is Jonathan Edwards Professor of American Religious History at Yale University and the author of "The New England Soul," His awards include an N.E.H. Research Fellowship and a Guggenheim Fellowship.

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