Chapter

No self is an island

Kathleen Lynch

in Protestant Autobiography in the Seventeenth-Century Anglophone World

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780199643936
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738876 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199643936.003.0001
No self is an island

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Protestant Autobiography takes it as axiomatic that autobiography is an act, not a form. The introduction reorients scholarly examinations of the social acts of first-person articulations of religious experience in two ways: towards an Atlantic worldview and towards reception and its attendant acts of validation, endorsement, and the building of communal identities, all aspects of the reading of examinations of the self for signs of election. The book’s subject is not conversion between Catholicism and Protestantism or from Christian to Islam, but conversion in what might seem to be a narrow definition—within Protestantism, from a conventional practice of religion to experiential religion. A case study of Richard Norwood’s Confessions anchors a synchronic view of the diaspora of religious dissent and the regulations of religion and the book trade.

Keywords: autobiography; Richard Norwood; Atlantic world; regulation of religion; regulation of the book trade; experiential religion

Chapter.  12971 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)

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