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By Deborah L. Madsen (auth.)

ISBN-10: 0230379931

ISBN-13: 9780230379930

ISBN-10: 0312159986

ISBN-13: 9780312159986

ISBN-10: 1349395943

ISBN-13: 9781349395941

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Additional resources for Allegory in America: From Puritanism to Postmodernism

Example text

And if the Bible is not immune from ambiguity and duplicity, then secular signs certainly are not either. Where the Bible can at least claim a transcendental authorship, guiding its signifying patterns to a preordained end, the signs manifest in temporal history and unredeemed nature have a more contingent claim to divine intentionality and hence issue a more demanding imperative for rigorous interpretation. The secular genre of allegorical narrative addresses the implications of this imperative by incorporating the rhetorical styles once reserved for the interpretation of sacred books into temporal plots that are concerned with the interpretation of human history and the corporeal world.

The integrative power of typology found application in the image of the Great Migration as a flight, literal and spiritual, from sin to redemption. The notion of a typological repetition of the Israelites' escape from Egyptian bondage into the promised land of Canaan provided legitimation for the colonial enterprise. The typological parallel appears in historical interpretations of the colonies like those written by William Bradford, John Winthrop, and the Mathers, which seek to define an emergent nation.

At the present, the faithful Christian has been left to wander in the 44 Allegory in America wilderness of this earth until Christ should return to transform earthly reality into a heavenly state. What this heavenly state might be is recorded precisely in the Gospels. Heaven and earth remain discrete realms in Cushman's Separatist view. If the Pilgrims' settlement of Plymouth was not divinely ordained, it does not follow that the colony was without justification. Cushman argues that the colonists' reasons for 'removal' are, and necessarily should be, different from those of the ancient Israelites.

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Allegory in America: From Puritanism to Postmodernism by Deborah L. Madsen (auth.)


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