Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
American Spaces of ConversionThe Conductive Imaginaries of Edwards, Emerson, and James$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Andrea Knutson

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195370928

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195370928.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 17 October 2019

A Believing Attitude

A Believing Attitude

(p.15) Chapter 1 A Believing Attitude
American Spaces of Conversion

Andrea Knutson

Oxford University Press

Chapter 1 foregrounds the following chapters by offering a comprehensive examination of the Puritan Reformed concept and morphology of conversion and its expression within Puritanism’s preparatory theology, specifically as the minister Thomas Shepard and his congregants adapted it to the New World context after the migration to the Massachusetts Bay colony. It argues that the rhetorical pattern associated with the conversion narratives collected by Shepard is a communal response to the crisis in belief caused by the migration to New England and the disappointment the saints felt when New England failed as a means to grace. Through an examination of Shepard’s sermons and the discursive nuances of the testimonies expressing his preparatory theology and its reliance on Ramist logic, faculty psychology, and the method of technologia, it sets forth the theory that the “formulaic” aspect of the narratives represents a powerfully modern expression of the provisional nature of the idea of New England, that its meaning is contextual – grounded in experience and history. Although the testimonies don’t actually contain confessions of “closing with Christ,” they perform Shepard’s ministerial imperative of converting the idea of New England back into a means to grace, an urgent necessity for establishing a covenantal community.

Keywords:   conversion narrative, belief, Puritanism, preparation theology, ramist logic, Thomas Shepard, faculty psychology, norphology

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .