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date: 09 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses how writing The Pilgrim’s Progress, Part II (1684) allowed Bunyan to explore areas of Christian experience that Part I did not address, especially the workings of an ideal church and the spiritual lives of women, including the issue of literacy and women’s access to the Word. Anticipating a younger and female readership for this story of Christiana, her children, and her friend Mercie, Bunyan adopts in Part II a more didactic style, replacing Part I’s emphasis on testifying to spiritual experience with frequent scenes of catechizing. Great-heart the minister creates the spiritual community in Part II and guides it through a landscape far more welcoming to pilgrims than that of Part I. Because women’s ‘burdens’ are internal, connected to their sexuality, they cannot be lost, only contained through marriage, child-bearing, and obedience to male authority.

Keywords: The Pilgrim’s Progress, Part II, Great-heart, Christiana, Mercie, literacy, community, minister

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