Seers of God: Puritan Providentialism in the Restoration and Early Enlightenment

Seers of God: Puritan Providentialism in the Restoration and Early Enlightenment

by Michael P. Winship
     
 

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Observing that intellectual changes within late-seventeenth-century Massachusetts Puritan culture closely paralleled changes within Puritan culture in England, Michael Winship re-examines one of the more nettlesome issues in the intellectual history of early New England. How did the logic Puritanism square itself with the increasingly hostile assumptions of the

Overview

Observing that intellectual changes within late-seventeenth-century Massachusetts Puritan culture closely paralleled changes within Puritan culture in England, Michael Winship re-examines one of the more nettlesome issues in the intellectual history of early New England. How did the logic Puritanism square itself with the increasingly hostile assumptions of the early Enlightenment? And, faced with a new intellectual world whose parameters were formed to a large extent in opposition to Puritanism, how did Puritans try to maintain credibility? In Seers of God, Winship's compelling analysis of topics ranging from theology to witchcraft places the problem of intellectual change fully in a transatlantic context.

Editorial Reviews

William and Mary Quarterly
Winship's sophisticated and compelling study of Puritan providentialism in Massachusetts during the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries examines the impact of cultural politics in Restoration England on New England's intellectual history and sheds new light on the ways in which Puritan thinkers responded to the imperatives of the early Enlightenment.

American Studies International - Dewey D. Wallace
This is an impressive book. It explores with subtlety one of those fascinating moments when the intricate connections between a certain kind of religious discourse shades into that outlook we connect with the Enlightenment, and discloses how rooted was the English Enlightenment in certain matters of theological discussion. As an exploration into a mentality, it is a test case in the analysis of 'Weberian disenchantment' and of a society struggling with cognitive disonance... Winship is especially strong in clarifying the political use of disenchantment and the political meaning of reason for Restoration Anglicans—seldom has a theological shift in its political context been so clearly delineated.

American Studies International
This is an impressive book. It explores with subtlety one of those fascinating moments when the intricate connections between a certain kind of religious discourse shades into that outlook we connect with the Enlightenment, and discloses how rooted was the English Enlightenment in certain matters of theological discussion. As an exploration into a mentality, it is a test case in the analysis of 'Weberian disenchantment' and of a society struggling with cognitive disonance... Winship is especially strong in clarifying the political use of disenchantment and the political meaning of reason for Restoration Anglicans—seldom has a theological shift in its political context been so clearly delineated.

— Dewey D. Wallace, Jr.

Booknews
Winship (history, U. of Georgia) examines how Puritans in early America dealt with the tension between their logic and their belief that the workings of God were to be found in such events as storms and earthquakes, fainting, and depression. Focusing on Cotton Mather, he emphasizes how the tension influenced the witch trials and the eventual decline of belief in wonders. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780801863769
Publisher:
Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date:
01/20/2000
Series:
Early America: History, Context, Culture
Pages:
240
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.55(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Michael P. Winship is an associate professor of history at the University of Georgia.

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