Mark Twain's Religion

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Mercer University Press, 2003 - Biography & Autobiography - 386 pages
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Although there are many studies of America's most famous literary figure, this thorough investigation provides not only new information on Twain's religion, but also a different approach from anything published before. Interpretations of Twain over the past century have been largely the province of literary critics. By skillful textual analysis they have produced an abundance of nuanced studies, but they tend to have little interest in, and knowledge of, the broad religious context of Victorian society, which both angered and intrigued Twain. Phipps provides perceptions often overlooked into the way Clemens's religion was related to such significant issues as racism, imperialism, and materialism. This study takes a close look at his growing up in the slave culture of Missouri Protestants and his subsequent involvement in the radically different abolition culture in which his wire was raised. Like Twain, who aimed at communicating with the common person, Phipps has written in a style that will attract the educated public while providing fresh insights for Twain scholars. His research has taken him to Hannibal, Elmira Hartford, and to the Twain archives in Berkeley. Mostly chronological, the book makes extensive use of Twain's works and, often neglected in such studies on Twain, the Bible, his most important literary source.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
The Scope of Religion
3
The Approach of This Study
4
Along the Mississippi
7
Growing up in Hannibal
13
Regions Varieties
30
Peripatetic Journalist
41
To the Mediterranean
59
Tpe AntiImperialist
202
Biblical Usages
221
Jewish Scriptures
222
The New Testament
241
Scriptural Affusions
248
Theological Journey
263
Views of Jesus
277
Evil anb Freedom
281

Travel Reflections
81
Amid Liberal Caivmists
89
In Hartforb
111
Relations with Cable
134
Justice m America
143
Political Morality
155
Race Relations
162
Womens Rights
181
AmbassaboratLarge
187
In Europe
188
Global Tour
194
Versonal Immortality
299
Final Quest
313
Search for Healing
321
Bittersweet Last Years
328
Conclusion
351
Ethics and Truth
359
Humorist and Treacher
363
The Tolerant Monotfest
368
Bibliography
377
Index
383
Copyright

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About the author (2003)

William E. Phipps is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). He was formerly Professor of Bible at Peace College in Raleigh, North Carolina, and the former Chair of the Philosophy Department at Davis and Elkins College in Elkins, West Virginia.

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