The New England Soul: Preaching and Religious Culture in Colonial New England Info

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Throughout the colonial era, New England's only real public
spokesmen were the Congregational ministers. One result is that the
ideological origins of the American Revolution are nowhere more clearly
seen than in the sermons they preached. The New England Soul is
the first comprehensive analysis of preaching in New England from the
founding of the Puritan colonies to the outbreak of the Revolution.
Using a multi-disciplinary approach--including analysis of rhetorical
style and concept of identity and community--Stout examines more than
two thousand sermons spanning five generations of ministers, including
such giants of the pulpit as John Cotton, Thomas Shepard, Increase and
Cotton Mather, George Whitefield, Jonathan Edwards, Jonathan Mayhew, and
Charles Chauncy. Equally important, however, are the manuscript sermons
of many lesser known ministers, which never appeared in print. By
integrating the sermons of ordinary ministers with the printed sermons
of their more illustrious contemporaries, Stout reconstructs the full
import of the colonial sermon as a multi-faceted institution that served
both religious and political purposes, and explicated history and
society to the New England Puritans for one and a half centuries.

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