American Spaces of Conversion: The Conductive Imaginaries of Edwards, Emerson, and James Andrea Knutson

ISBN: 9780195370928

Published: December 3rd 2010

Hardcover

188 pages


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American Spaces of Conversion: The Conductive Imaginaries of Edwards, Emerson, and James  by  Andrea Knutson

American Spaces of Conversion: The Conductive Imaginaries of Edwards, Emerson, and James by Andrea Knutson
December 3rd 2010 | Hardcover | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, AUDIO, mp3, RTF | 188 pages | ISBN: 9780195370928 | 5.45 Mb

The religious precepts of the Puritans continued to affect intellectual life in the U.S. long after the immigrants arrived at Massachusetts Bay, circulating through New England culture well into the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Using three emblematic figures--Jonathan Edwards, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and William James--American Spaces of Conversion examines how the Puritan legacy, especially the concept of conversion, shaped developments in American literature, theology, and pragmatist philosophy.Knutson grounds her study with the testimonies collected by the Puritan minister Thomas Shepard, which reveal an active pursuit of belief occurring at the intersection of perception, intellection, affection, and doctrine.

This pursuit of belief, codified in the morphology of conversion, was originally undertaken by the Puritans as a way to conceptualize redemption in a fallen state. It established the epistemological contours for what Edwards, Emerson, and James would theorize as a conductive imaginary-consciousness, a state both receptive and active, as a force responsible for translating the effects of experience and generating original relations with self, community, and God.With an interdisciplinary approach that combines religion, literature, and philosophy, Knutson demonstrates how the triad of writers discussed here ministered to their audiences, encouraging the attachment of new meaning to ordinary contexts in a continual effort toward regeneration.



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