Puritan Family and Community in the English Atlantic World: Being “Much Afflicted with Conscience”

1st Edition

Margaret Murányi Manchester

Published June 5, 2019
Reference - 162 Pages
ISBN 9780367150785 - CAT# K413320
Series: Microhistories


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Puritan Family and Community in the English Atlantic World examines the dynamics of marriage, family and community life during the "Great Migration" through the microhistorical study of one puritan family in 1638 Rhode Island.

Through studying the Verin family, a group of English non-conformists who took part in the "Great Migration", this book examines differing approaches within puritanism towards critical issues of the age, including liberty of conscience, marriage, family, female agency, domestic violence, and the role of civil government in responding to these developments. Like other nonconformists who challenged the established Church of England, the Verins faced important personal dilemmas brought on by the dictates of their conscience even after emigrating. A violent marital dispute between Jane and her husband Joshua divided the Providence community and resulted, for the first time in the English-speaking colonies, in a woman’s right to a liberty of conscience independent of her husband being upheld. Through biographical sketches of the founders of Providence and engaging with puritan ministerial and prescriptive literature and female-authored petitions and pamphlets, this book illustrates how women saw their place in the world and considers the exercise of female agency in the early modern era.

Connecting migration studies, family and community studies, religious studies, and political philosophy, Puritan Family and Community in the English Atlantic World will be of great interest to scholars of the English Atlantic World, American religious history, gender and violence, the history of New England, and the history of family.

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