The Minister, the Millenarian, and the Madman: The Puritan Lives of William Sedgwick, ca. 1609–1664
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Colleges, School and Institutes
William Sedgwick (ca. 1609–1664) is variously remembered as a godly clergyman, millenarian prophet, or ranting radical. By showing the continuities as well as divergences between these three “lives,” Richard Thomas Bell explores the relationship between mainstream and radical puritanism. He builds on recent arguments about the fissiparous nature of the puritan community, demonstrating how an individual could move through seemingly conflicting positions, and how this experience of puritanism—although not preconditioning Sedgwick’s politics—underwrote varied and often unexpected responses to political crisis. He argues that, although contemporaries perceived and upheld distinctions between mainstream and radical puritanism, these boundaries were not absolute, revealing consistencies, interactions, and distinctions between the two.
|Number of pages||34|
|Journal||Huntington Library Quarterly|
|Publication status||Published - Mar 2018|