By Andrea Knutson
This research examines how the idea that of conversion and the legacy of the doctrine of coaching, as articulated in Puritan Reformed theology and transplanted to the Massachusetts Bay colony, remained an important cultural strength shaping advancements in American literature, theology, and in philosophy within the type of pragmatism.
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Extra info for American spaces of conversion : the conductive imaginaries of Edwards, Emerson, and James
Moreover, the discursive world that a minister shaped for his parishioners created the ways in which they would comprehend their conversion; it was a perceptive lens aimed at correcting the limited and distorting faculties that were their curse. In effect, the discursive space opened by a divine’s ministry formed the affective receptors permitting the will of God to take effect. It shaped a conductive imaginary that made a life of faith and conversion possible because it determined the affective and epistemological shapes of knowing.
Intellectual understanding of A Believing Attitude 29 redemption. 45 As personal expressions of Shepard’s ministerial soteriology, we can expect the saints to focus their narratives on the stages associated with conviction, compunction, and humiliation. Accordingly, because New England becomes reconceived as a means within that soteriology, we can expect to find a lay understanding and expression of New England’s place within that doctrine of preparation. Shepard was aware of the power that language had to bind a community of saints together and to prevent isolation from that group identity, and he was aware of that same power to also inhibit grace.
The confessions are replete with descriptions of attempts to find the right means to stay on course, and the saints openly admit that often the means they encounter do not come at an opportune time, or, for one reason or another, do not have the effect they anticipated. Means were inherently unpredictable and often had the opposite effect anticipated. Moreover, the doctrine of election stressed that saints would continue to undergo conversion throughout their lives. One moment of grace did not necessarily provide assurance of salvation.