The Mathers: Three Generations of Puritan Intellectuals, 1596–1728

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University of California Press, 1999 M06 29 - 440 pages
In this classic work of American religious history, Robert Middlekauff traces the evolution of Puritan thought and theology in America from its origins in New England through the early eighteenth century. He focuses on three generations of intellectual ministers—Richard, Increase, and Cotton Mather—in order to challenge the traditional telling of the secularization of Puritanism, a story of faith transformed by reason, science, and business. Delving into the Mathers' private papers and unpublished writings as well as their sermons and published works, Middlekauff describes a Puritan theory of religious experience that is more creative, complex, and uncompromising than traditional accounts have allowed. At the same time, he portrays changing ideas and patterns of behavior that reveal much about the first hundred years of American life.

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Contents

The Founder
3
The Antichrist
20
The Church
35
The Word
58
INCREASE MATHER 16391723 TYPOLOGY
77
An Unripened Puritan
79
The Invention of New England
96
The Church of the Pure
113
Christian Union and the of New England
209
The Psychology of Abasement
231
Christ and the Covenant
247
The Failure of Reformation
262
The Experimental Philosophy
279
The Experimental Religion
305
The Prophecy of Joel
320
On the borders of Paradise
350

The Invisible World
139
The Word in Boston
162
Chiliasm
179
COTTON MATHER 16631728 PROPHECY
189
The Virtuous Epicure
191
NOTES
369
A Notes on the Sources
426
INDEX
429
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About the author (1999)

Robert Middlekauff is Preston Hotchkis Professor of American History at the University of California, Berkeley, and was Harmsworth Professor at Oxford University in 1996-97. His books include Benjamin Franklin and His Enemies (California, 1996) and The Glorious Cause: The American Revolution, 1763-1789 (1982).

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