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Protestant Autobiography in the Seventeenth-Century Anglophone World$
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Kathleen Lynch

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199643936

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199643936.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 23 September 2021

No self is an island

No self is an island

The validations of autobiographical truths

(p.1) Introduction: No self is an island
Protestant Autobiography in the Seventeenth-Century Anglophone World

Kathleen Lynch

Oxford University Press

Protestant Autobiography takes it as axiomatic that autobiography is an act, not a form. The introduction reorients scholarly examinations of the social acts of first-person articulations of religious experience in two ways: towards an Atlantic worldview and towards reception and its attendant acts of validation, endorsement, and the building of communal identities, all aspects of the reading of examinations of the self for signs of election. The book’s subject is not conversion between Catholicism and Protestantism or from Christian to Islam, but conversion in what might seem to be a narrow definition—within Protestantism, from a conventional practice of religion to experiential religion. A case study of Richard Norwood’s Confessions anchors a synchronic view of the diaspora of religious dissent and the regulations of religion and the book trade.

Keywords:   autobiography, Richard Norwood, Atlantic world, regulation of religion, regulation of the book trade, experiential religion

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