Puritan Theology: What You See vs. What You Don’t See

History / April 23, 2015 / No Comments /
Explores the complexities of Puritan theology through two of its most popular practitioners, Mary Rowlandson and Jonathan Edwards.

This paper discusses the tensions resulting between the visible world and the invisible world in Puritan theology, drawing heavily upon Mary Rowlandson’s narrative from `Colonial American Travel Narratives` and the sermons of Jonathan Edwards.
`In Colonial American Travel Narratives, Mary Rowlandson reveals the Puritan worldview through her narrative. Her words are infused with images of evil. In Rowlandson’s narrative, the first indication of evil to the reader is her vision of Hell, in which Indians crush the skulls of Rowlandson’s family and neighbors. This evil vision continues with Rowlandson’s capture and while she is held hostage. Through her choice of details and use of analogies, however, Rowlandson makes it clear that the Hell that she is describing in her narrative a distinctly New England, colonial, Puritan hell.`


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