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Hartford PuritanismThomas Hooker, Samuel Stone, and Their Terrifying God$
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Baird Tipson

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780190212520

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190212520.001.0001

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Richardsonian Ramism

Richardsonian Ramism

Chapter:
(p.195) 7 Richardsonian Ramism
Source:
Hartford Puritanism
Author(s):

Baird Tipson

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190212520.003.0007

Hooker and Stone imbibed a philosophy based on the writings of Peter Ramus. Their Ramism was filtered through the thought of Alexander Richardson, another widely influential thinker whose positions shaped the education of Harvard College students for almost a century. Richardsonian Ramism offered a method whereby students could not only dissect reality into its component parts but also recover God’s intentions in creating it. It encouraged ministers to fit biblical narrative into logical boxes which would then govern the interpretation of that narrative. As it dichotomized all reality, Richardsonian Ramism reinforced the black/white distinctions of extreme Augustinianism, most notably the belief that God had from all eternity divided the human race into elect and reprobate. Ramist presuppositions turned the Bible into a set of data about nature, moral precepts, and exemplars, fostering a theology based on proof texts.

Keywords:   Peter Ramus, Alexander Richardson, dichotomy, Harvard College, Richardsonian Ramism

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