By Andrea Knutson
This examine examines how the idea that of conversion and the legacy of the doctrine of training, as articulated in Puritan Reformed theology and transplanted to the Massachusetts Bay colony, remained an essential cultural strength shaping advancements in American literature, theology, and in philosophy within the kind of pragmatism.
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Additional info for American spaces of conversion : the conductive imaginaries of Edwards, Emerson, and James
These are the stages that are more easily captured and contained in language, and it becomes imperative after the migration that New England, as a failed means, find a new conceptual home, a new meaning for the will to move toward, through its re-containment within the discourse of preparation. And Shepard’s congregants needed to be able to express that they understood the difference. George Selement makes an important distinction between Shepard’s ministerial soteriology and the lay understanding and expression of that soteriology in his study of the narratives.
14 In Fiering’s analysis, Ames stands as an important figure because his theology synthesized ideas about the will in that it contained aspects of Augustinian voluntarism that stood in opposition to predominantly held views. As Fiering explains, the established view in Ames’s day, reflecting faculty psychology, was the intellectualist position, granting a dual-faceted nature to the rational soul; the understanding first judges objects and ideas of experience as good or bad, and the will, as the “rational appetite,” either embraces or rejects what the understanding presents to it.
47 As the regnant force of Shepard’s postmigration homiletics, this message placed the burden of the godliness and health of society on each individual and located the origins of societal order in the regenerate will of the saint. Shepard’s homiletics obviated complacency and was proscriptive of self-deceptive assurances of grace and empty professions of faith, and the confessions recorded in Shepard’s 30 american spaces of conversion notebook reflect his doctrine. Therefore, I would argue, the sense of open-endedness that Caldwell attributes to the disruption caused by the migration results from a deeply felt awareness of the stakes of salvation: a regenerate will that denoted belief in Christ and hence a holy society of visible saints.