9780231139465

Dissenting Bodies

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780231139465

  • ISBN10:

    0231139462

  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2009-11-01
  • Publisher: Columbia Univ Pr

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Summary

For the Puritan separatists of seventeenth-century New England, "godliness," as manifested by the body, was the sign of election, and the body, with its material demands and metaphorical significance, became the axis upon which all colonial activity and religious meaning turned. Turning to literature, documents, and critical studies of embodiment as practiced in the New England colonies, Martha L. Finch launches a fascinating investigation into scientific, theological, and cultural conceptions of corporeality at a pivotal moment in Anglo-Protestant history. Not only were settlers forced to interact bodily with native populations and other "new world" communities, but they also fought starvation and illness; were whipped, branded, hanged, and murdered; sang, prayed, and preached; engaged in sexual relations; and were baptized according to their faith. All these activities shaped the colonists' understanding of their physical existence and the godly principles of their young society. They labored to survive in an unforgiving environment, established orderly churches, built cohesive communities, and regulated the behavior of individual members. Focusing on a colony that has been little studied with regard to this issue, Finch brilliantly analyzes corporeality and daily life in early New England.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrationsp. IX
Prefacep. XI
Introduction: Embodying Godlinessp. 1
Massasoit's Stool and Wituwamat's Head: Body Encountersp. 29
A Banquet in the Wilderness: Bodies and the Environmentp. 63
As on a Hill: Public Bodiesp. 99
The True and Visible Church: The Body of Christp. 137
As in a Mirror: Domestic Bodiesp. 177
Notesp. 217
Indexp. 261
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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