Godly Letters: The Literature Of The American Puritans by Michael J. Colacurcio

Godly Letters: The Literature Of The American Puritans

byMichael J. Colacurcio

Hardcover | August 15, 2006

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In Godly Letters, Michael J. Colacurcio analyzes a treasury of works written by the first generation of seventeenth-century American Puritans. Arguing that insufficient scrutiny has been given this important oeuvre, he calls for a reevaluation of the imaginative and creative qualities of America's early literature of inspired ecclesiological experiment, one that focuses on the quality of the works as well as the demanding theology they express.
 
Colacurcio gives a detailed, richly contextualized account of the meaning of these "godly letters" in rhetorical, theological, and political terms. From his close readings of the major texts by the first generation of Puritans—including William Bradford, Thomas Hooker, Edward Johnson, John Winthrop, Thomas Shepard, and John Cotton—he expertly illuminates qualities other studies have often overlooked. In his words, close study of the literature yields work "comprehensive, circumspect, determined subtle, energetic, relentlessly intellectual, playful in spite of their cultural prohibitions, in spite of themselves, even, they are in every way remarkable products of a culture that . . . assigned an extraordinarily high place to the life of words." Magisterial in sweep, Godly Letters is likely to stand as the definitive work on the Puritan literary achievement.  

 

About The Author

Michael J. Colacurcio is Distinguished Professor of English at the University of California, Los Angeles.
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Details & Specs

Title:Godly Letters: The Literature Of The American PuritansFormat:HardcoverDimensions:672 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.6 inPublished:August 15, 2006Publisher:University Of Notre Dame PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0268022909

ISBN - 13:9780268022907

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“Limiting himself to the ‘big books’ of New England’s founding generation—works of history, cycles of sermons, and autobiographical literature from William Bradford to Roger Williams—Colacurcio nevertheless provides new and often surprising insights to these texts. . . . [A] rich and rewarding work by a scholar whose interpretative instincts and sensitivity to Puritan theological and aesthetic nuance is unrivaled.” —Calvin Theological Journal