Wilderness Lost: The Religious Origins of the American Mind

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Susquehanna University Press, 1987 - History - 293 pages
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This book establishes that there is a consistent tradition of wilderness imagery in American literature, A psychological reading of theology is applied to the writings of such authors as Thomas Hooker, Jonathan Edwards, Thoreau, Hawthorne, Melville, and Dickinson.

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Wilderness lost: the religious origins of the American mind

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In this scholarly, clearly written monograph, Williams traces the influence of Calvinism on American literature and thought from the 17th century to the present. Along the way, he insightfully ... Read full review


The Wilderness
New England Canaan and the Wilderness
The Great Awakening of Fear
Revival and Revolution
The Transcendental Growth
Hawthorne Very and Dickinson The Wilderness of the Mind
Herman Melville The Watery Wilderness
Wilderness Lost Oliver Wendell Holmes and the OneHoss Shay
9 Conclusion

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Page 111 - And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face, of the serpent.
Page 46 - He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye.
Page 216 - And we Americans are the peculiar, chosen people - the Israel of our time; we bear the ark of the liberties of the world.
Page 36 - For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
Page 18 - To believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men, — that is genius.
Page 235 - HAVE you heard of the wonderful one-hoss shay, That was built in such a logical way It ran a hundred years to a day, And then, of a sudden, it— ah, but stay...
Page 33 - And thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.
Page 28 - Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her. And I will give her her vineyards from thence, and the valley of Achor for a door of hope : and she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt.
Page 227 - He saw God's foot upon the treadle of the loom, and spoke it; and therefore his shipmates called him mad.

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