Saving Grace and Moral Striving

James Calvin Davis and Charles Mathewes

in Thrift and Thriving in America

Published in print July 2011 | ISBN: 9780199769063
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199896851 | DOI:
Saving Grace and Moral Striving

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This chapter examines the rich theological framework within which the Puritan ideal of thrift first developed. The Puritans believed quite explicitly that thrift was a necessary condition for human thriving because it was the proper response to divine grace. As such, Puritan thrift expressed an ethic of responsible, profitable, and pious management of time, talents, and treasure. As important as such “inner-worldly asceticism” may have been as a mark of salvation to the individual believer, thrift was not reducible to a private, individual practice for the Puritans. Rather, it was as much a spiritual calling for whole communities as it was for the individuals who constituted them.

Keywords: Puritans; thrift; commercial system; thriving; asceticism

Chapter.  14538 words. 

Subjects: Economic Sociology

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