Female Piety in Puritan New England: The Emergence of Religious Humanism

Hardcover | April 30, 1999

byAmanda Porterfield

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A synthesis of literary critical and historical methods, Porterfield's book combines insightful analysis of Puritan theological writings with detailed examinations of historical records showing the changing patterns of church membership and domestic life. She finds that by conflating marriageas a trope of grace with marriage as a social construct, Puritan ministers invested relationships between husbands and wives with religious meaning. Images of female piety represented the humility that Puritans believed led all Christians to self-control and, ultimately, to love. But while imagesof female piety were important for men primarily as aids to controlling aggression and ambition, they were primarily attractive to women as aids to exercising indirect influence over men and obtaining public recognition and status.

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A synthesis of literary critical and historical methods, Porterfield's book combines insightful analysis of Puritan theological writings with detailed examinations of historical records showing the changing patterns of church membership and domestic life. She finds that by conflating marriageas a trope of grace with marriage as a soci...

Amanda Porterfield is at Syracuse University.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:224 pages, 8.54 × 5.75 × 0.91 inPublished:April 30, 1999Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195068211

ISBN - 13:9780195068214

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"Appealing and well argued."--The Historian