The Goodly Word: The Puritan Influence in American Literature

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Clements Publishing Group, 2005 - 281 pages
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Power, love, predestination. What did these words mean to the Puritans? Ellwood Johnson provides an invaluable reference guide to the vocabulary of Puritanism, and shows how the meanings of these words have changed. In illuminating essays, he further traces the influence of the theology of the heart on such thinkers as Isaac Newton, John Locke, Sampson Reed, R.W. Emerson, Alexis de Tocqueville, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Henry Adams. Now available in paperback, The Goodly Word is an indispensable reference for any student of American literature. "This book is like a complicated set of keys that abundantly repays the effort by opening many locks. With his jangle of keys, Dr. Johnson opens doors to rooms that are everywhere new and mostly foreign to the modern and postmodern mind. He gives equal time to protagonists and antagonists, not to debate a central thesis, but to reflect and refract the ideas that lurk behind the patchwork quilt that is the intellectual history of America. Dr. Johnson finally pays the Puritans a great compliment. In their emphasis on 'individual inventiveness and personal productivity, ' he maintains, they may have saved American democracy from itself." -The Ivy Jungle Report "I am unaware of another book that sets out to trace the larger patterns and influence of Puritan vocabulary on American intellectual development in such a thorough and provocative manner." -Dr. Stanley Tag, St. Olaf College Ellwood Johnson is Professor Emeritus of American Literature at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington.

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