Performances of Martyrdom in the Antinomian Controversy

Adrian Chastain Weimer

in Martyrs' Mirror

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199743117
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199918744 | DOI:
Performances of Martyrdom in the Antinomian Controversy

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Chapter 3 examines the rhetoric of emigration and the first major threat to Congregationalists’ identity as the true, persecuted church, the Antinomians. It asks how and why both sides of the controversy in Massachusetts drew on apocalyptic and martyrdom narratives to establish their positions. John Wheelright and Anne Hutchinson saw themselves within the lineage of the true persecuted church, and John Winthrop and others tried to invert their narrative by framing Antinomians as persecutors. Though Wheelright would later disavow intentions of violence, his apocalyptic language was deeply threatening to Congregationalist leaders, who disarmed his followers.

Keywords: Antinomian Controversy; John Wheelwright; John Winthrop; Anne Hutchinson; religious violence; persecuted church; apocalyptic

Chapter.  9084 words. 

Subjects: Christianity

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