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Hartford PuritanismThomas Hooker, Samuel Stone, and Their Terrifying God$
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Baird Tipson

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780190212520

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190212520.001.0001

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Creating the Thomas Hooker Brand

Creating the Thomas Hooker Brand

(p.1) 1 Creating the Thomas Hooker Brand
Hartford Puritanism

Baird Tipson

Oxford University Press

Hooker’s significance has been obscured by the agendas of those who have studied him. Where nineteenth-century biographers had imagined him as an early proponent of American liberal democracy, the Harvard historian Perry Miller portrayed a Hooker who led his colleagues away from Calvinist determinism by subtly encouraging human initiative in conversion. This book proposes that far from undermining “Calvinism,” Hooker reinforced an “absolutist” theology designed to reinforce it. He became an especially vivid proponent of what the historian Jean Delumeau terms surculpabilisation: the clergy’s creation of extraordinary anxiety and guilt in lay audiences by emphasizing God’s implacable wrath at their sinfulness.

Keywords:   Perry Miller, Calvinism, wrath, surculpabilisation, Jean Delumeau

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