By Julius H. Rubin
Tears of Repentance revisits and reexamines the generic tales of intercultural encounters among Protestant missionaries and local peoples in southern New England from the 17th to the early 19th centuries. targeting Protestant missionaries’ bills in their beliefs, reasons, and pursuits one of the local groups they served and of the faith as lived, skilled, and practiced between Christianized Indians, Julius H. Rubin deals a brand new method of realizing the causes and motivations of these who lived in New England’s early Christianized Indian village communities.
Rubin explores how Christian Indians recast Protestant theology into an Indianized quest for salvation from their worldly issues and towards the promise of an otherworldly paradise. the good Awakening of the eighteenth century finds how evangelical pietism reworked spiritual identities and groups and gave upward thrust to the elegant wish that New Born Indians have been little ones of God who could successfully contest colonialism. With this dream unfulfilled, the exodus from New England to Brothertown anticipated a separatist Christian Indian commonwealth at the borderlands of the United States after the Revolution.
Tears of Repentance is a crucial contribution to American colonial and local American background, delivering new methods of analyzing how local teams and contributors recast Protestant theology to revive their local groups and cultures.
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Extra info for Tears of Repentance: Christian Indian Identity and Community in Colonial Southern New England
William Bradford, governor of Plymouth Plantation, offers this account of the smallpox epidemic among the Pawtuxets in the spring of 1643: For want of bedding and linen and other helps they fall into a lamentable condition as they lie on hard mats, the pox breaking and mattering and running one into another, their skin cleaving by reason thereof to the mats they lie on. When they turn them, a whole side will flay off at once as it were, and they will be all of a gore blood, most fearful to behold.
Here religious paternalism envisioned conversion as the obliteration of Native beliefs and practices and the abandonment of traditional patterns of kinship, authority, oral tradition, language, seasonal migrations, and lifeways. Religious paternalism, in its many iterations, promulgated a religious ethos and life order suited to internal colonies—reservation life—where Natives could no longer practice seasonal migrations of traditional economies and lifeways, nor intertribal trade, diplomacy, and warfare.
73 Thirty percent of Natick’s inhabitants were literate and employed these powers to advocate for their community and protect their land from encroachment. Praying towns enjoyed secure land tenure—an ordered social structure in a “plantation” or village settlement with stable boundaries. ”75 Unlike traditional Native villages where the English perceived inhabitants as “wandering Indians” whose traditional lifeways necessitated seasonal migrations, praying Indians were viewed as settled into permanent residences with collective title to their lands.