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date: 25 March 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The Bible served as the principal source of religious imagination for English colonials in the seventeenth century. It was that which inspired their radical ecclesiastical, political, and societal reconstructions and that by which they measured their faithfulness to the Christian tradition. It proved to be a remarkable stimulus to the formation of colonial institutions and material culture, and the production of an entire range of literary genres, including spiritual memoir, public rhetoric and exhortation, history, poetry, music, pedagogy, law, and linguistics. The Bible also served as the template upon which colonials worked out their understanding of the alien and the alienating, both among Europeans of differing religious understandings and between Europeans, African slaves, and Native Americans.

Keywords: primitivism, hornbook, Indian Library, Harvard College, Native Americans, African slaves, church government/polity, Bible commonwealth, catechism, school/education

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