The Puritan Origins Of American Sex / Edition 1

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From witch trials to pickaxe murderers, from brothels to convents, and from slavery to Toni Morrison's Paradise, these essays provide fascinating and provocative insights into our sexual and religious conventions and beliefs.

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Editorial Reviews

Fifteen essays, by academics in English or American studies (with one advanced graduate student) bring contemporary theory to the subject of Puritan sexual culture, with topics that include: a Foucaultian analysis of a 17th-century sexual deviant and his fate; Puritan attitudes towards sex and the poet Michael Wigglesworth, Cotton Mather, and Kenneth Starr; Frederick Douglass's struggles with Christianity; race and white male sexuality; the Puritan reaction to the representatives of diverse faiths at the 1893 Parliament of Religions in Chicago; Jane Rule and the ; and critique of the Puritan myth in the work of Toni Morrison. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415926409
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 12/14/2000
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.67 (d)

Meet the Author

Tracy Fessenden is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Arizona State University. Nicholas Radel is Professor of English at Furman University. Magdalena Zaborowska is Associate Professor of English at the University of Aarhus, Denmark.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: The Puritan Origins of American Sex 1
Wigglesworth, Mather, Starr: Witch-Hunts and General Wickedness in Public 21
A Sodom Within: Historicizing Puritan Homoerotics in the Diary of Michael Wigglesworth 41
"Remember Me": The Wonders of an Invisible World - Sex, Patriarchy, and Paranoia in Early America 56
Uncleanliness Is Next to Godliness: Sexuality, Salvation, and the Early American Women's Execution Narrative 72
The Puritan Eyeball, or, Sexing the Transcendent 93
Ejaculating Tongues: Poe, Mather, and the Jewish Penis 109
Now You Shall See How a Slave Was Made a Man: Gendering Frederick Douglass's Struggles with Christianity 127
Enslaving Passions: White Male Sexuality and the Evasion of Race 145
The Other Woman's Sphere: Nuns, Prostitutes, and the Medicalization of Middle-Class Domesticity 169
Christian Maidens and Heathen Monks: Oratorical Seduction at the 1893 World's Parliament or Religions 191
Americanization of a "Queer Fellow": Performing Jewishness and Sexuality in Abraham Cahan's The Rise of David Levinsky, with a Footnote on the (Monica) Lewinsky'ed Nation 213
Desert of the Heart: Jane Rule's Puritan Outing 235
Sinners in the Hands of an Angry Gardner 253
"Down Here in Paradise": Toni Morrison's Americas 273
Notes on Contributors 293
Index 297
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