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Other titles in the Published for the Omohundro Institute of Early American Hist series:

Devil and Doctor Dwight: Satire and Theology in the Early American Republic

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Devil and Doctor Dwight: Satire and Theology in the Early American Republic Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

At the close of the eighteenth century, Timothy Dwight--poet, clergyman, and, later, president of Yale College--waged a literary and intellectual war against the forces of "infidelity." The Devil and Doctor Dwight reexamines this episode by focusing on The Triumph of Infidelity (1788), the verse satire that launched Dwight's campaign and, Colin Wells argues, the key to recovering the deeper meaning of the threat of infidelity in the early years of the American Republic. The book also features the first modern, annotated edition of this important but long-overlooked poem.

Modeled after Alexander Pope's satiric masterpiece, the Dunciad, Dwight's poem took aim at a number of his contemporaries, but its principal target was Congregationalist Charles Chauncy, author of a controversial treatise asserting "the salvation of all men." To Dwight's mind, a belief in universal salvation issued from the same naive faith in innate human virtue and inevitable progress that governed all forms of Enlightenment thought, political as well as religious. Indeed, in subsequent works he traced with increasing dismay a shift in the idea of universal salvation from a theological doctrine to a political belief and symbol of American national identity. In this light, Dwight's campaign against infidelity must also be seen as an early and prescient critique of the ideological underpinnings of Jeffersonian democracy.

Synopsis:

At the close of the eighteenth century, Timothy Dwight--poet, clergyman, and, later, president of Yale College--waged a literary and intellectual war against the forces of "infidelity." The Devil and Doctor Dwight reexamines this episode by focusing on The Triumph of Infidelity (1788), the verse satire that launched Dwight's campaign and, Colin Wells argues, the key to recovering the deeper meaning of the threat of infidelity in the early years of the American republic. Dwight's campaign against infidelity must also be seen as an early and prescient critique of the ideological underpinnings of Jeffersonian democracy.

About the Author

Colin Wells is associate professor of English at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780807853832
Author:
Wells, Colin
Author:
Omohundro Institute of Early American Hi
Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
Location:
Chapel Hill
Subject:
History
Subject:
American - General
Subject:
United States - Revolutionary War
Subject:
Theology
Subject:
Christian poetry, American
Subject:
Christianity and literature
Subject:
Theology in literature.
Subject:
Freethinkers.
Subject:
Belief and doubt in literature.
Subject:
Verse satire, American.
Subject:
Faith in literature.
Subject:
Rationalism in literature.
Subject:
American
Subject:
Religion in literature
Subject:
Literary Criticism : General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Series:
Published for the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, Williamsburg, Virginia
Series Volume:
36B
Publication Date:
20020431
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
4
Pages:
272
Dimensions:
9.25 x 6.13 in

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Politics
History and Social Science » US History » Revolution and Constitution Era
Humanities » Literary Criticism » General
Religion » Christianity » Church History » American
Religion » Western Religions » Theology

Devil and Doctor Dwight: Satire and Theology in the Early American Republic Used Trade Paper
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Product details 272 pages University of North Carolina Press - English 9780807853832 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , At the close of the eighteenth century, Timothy Dwight--poet, clergyman, and, later, president of Yale College--waged a literary and intellectual war against the forces of "infidelity." The Devil and Doctor Dwight reexamines this episode by focusing on The Triumph of Infidelity (1788), the verse satire that launched Dwight's campaign and, Colin Wells argues, the key to recovering the deeper meaning of the threat of infidelity in the early years of the American republic. Dwight's campaign against infidelity must also be seen as an early and prescient critique of the ideological underpinnings of Jeffersonian democracy.
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