Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 20 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

In an America bereft of European institutions, the Bible emerged as the major shared cultural institution. It became a thread linking American history, politics, religion, and literature to each other, in both consensus and conflict; with literature itself never quite shedding its ties to biblical exegesis. American culture thus has a paradigmatic identification with biblical textuality. This begins with the Protestant groups who defined their venture to America through a specific biblical hermeneutic; then was disseminated, often with striking and startling shifts in position and interpretation, through subsequent groups, denominations, and parties, even into the twentieth century, albeit in increasingly pluralized and fractured forms. This impulse to fragmentation becomes in the twentieth century an enactment of plural identities in ways increasingly claimed not only to be legitimate but to define American peoplehood.

Keywords: Edward Taylor, Jonathan Edwards, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, Frances Harper, Toni Morrison, typology

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.