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The Religious History of American WomenReimagining the Past$
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Catherine A. Brekus

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780807831021

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807867990_brekus

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Revelation, Witchcraft, and Eliz the Danger of Knowing God's Secrets

Revelation, Witchcraft, and Eliz the Danger of Knowing God's Secrets

(p.73) 2 Revelation, Witchcraft, and Eliz the Danger of Knowing God's Secrets
The Religious History of American Women

Elizabeth Reis

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter illustrates why it is important to include women in narrative histories of Puritanism and why examining the experiences of both women and men changes our historical understanding of Puritanism. It highlights Puritan attitudes toward divine revelation and witchcraft by focusing on how Puritans accused women of being witches and denigrated their religious experiences. The chapter views Puritanism in New England as a strongly gendered faith that offered women spiritual equality in theory only and suggests that gender often created a double standard about knowing God's secrets. It also considers the ways that women and men were expected to express their spirituality in Puritan England. Finally, the chapter demonstrates how gender shaped Puritan perception and judgment with respect to salvation, wonders and revelations, and witches and angels.

Keywords:   women, Puritanism, divine revelation, witchcraft, witches, spirituality, gender, salvation, wonders, angels

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