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Agents of Wrath, Sowers of Discord : Authority and Dissent in Puritan Massachusetts, 1630-1655 - Timothy L. Wood

Agents of Wrath, Sowers of Discord

Authority and Dissent in Puritan Massachusetts, 1630-1655

Hardcover Published: 3rd January 2006
ISBN: 9780415977319
Number Of Pages: 196

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This project seeks to reconcile two conflicting schools of thought within the historiography of American Puritanism by arguing that even within the parameters of Puritan religious and political orthodoxy, dissent played a recognized and expected role in the life of early Massachusetts. Challenging previous interpretations that have depicted a monolithic Puritan establishment ruthlessly crushing all principled opposition within the colony, this book emphasizes the enormous importance the colony's leadership placed upon balancing their allegiance to the colony and its institutions with the Christian duty of reconciliation. At the same time, this study addresses more recent scholarship that dismisses the notion of a discernable "Puritan identity" entirely and contends that 17th century New England was a turbulent sea of competing ideas and enthusiasms that wholly lacked a coherent unifying ideology. Instead, this book contends that under the threat of social and intellectual chaos on the frontiers of America, there emerged a core Puritan mission that was either embraced or spurned by New England's founders, but widely understood by all. Only when opposition to that mission pushed beyond accepted boundaries and finally rose to a threatening level did the authorities of Massachusetts act decisively in defense of the colony.

A world torn asunderp. 15
Toward a religious identityp. 35
Toward a civil identityp. 61
Channels of authorityp. 87
Avenues of dissentp. 111
Reflections on authority and dissent
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780415977319
ISBN-10: 0415977312
Series: Studies in American Popular History
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 196
Published: 3rd January 2006
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.62 x 15.19  x 1.65
Weight (kg): 0.4
Edition Number: 1