The Prism of Piety

The Prism of Piety : Catholic Congregational Clergy at the Beginning of the Enlightenment

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This study attacks the widely accepted idea, propounded by Perry Miller, that Enlightenment ideas hastened the demise of religion in 18th century New England. The author argues that Miller misread and misunderstood those Puritan writers who were most influenced by the Enlightenment in the early 18th century. The text analyzes the writings of a group of Boston ministers who were profoundly influenced by Enlightenment ideals in the first four decades of the 18th century. These writers were Benjamin Colman, Nathaniel Appleton, Ebenezer Pemberton, Benjamin Wadsworth, Thomas Foxcroft and Edward Holyoke. The book argues that these ministers welcomed Enlightenment thought as a needed counterbalance to prevailing views of the world and society as corrupt and dangerous, and used them to promote a return to trust in religious community, as opposed to personal piety.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 208 pages
  • 146 x 212 x 24mm | 557.92g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0195067584
  • 9780195067583