Journal Article

Elizabeth Prentiss’ Faith in Suffering and Perplexity about the Wesleyan and the Higher Life Doctrines: On <i>Stepping Heavenward</i>

Miho Yamaguchi

in Literature and Theology

Volume 18, issue 4, pages 415-426
Published in print December 2004 | ISSN: 0269-1205
Published online December 2004 | e-ISSN: 1477-4623 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/litthe/18.4.415
Elizabeth Prentiss’ Faith in Suffering and Perplexity about the Wesleyan and the Higher Life Doctrines: On Stepping Heavenward

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Elizabeth Prentiss, an American Christian writer of the 19th century, kept her faith through trusting that trials and the suffering that often accompanies them carry a positive meaning since it is God who sends such trials. Prentiss’ spiritual pilgrimage is reflected in her Stepping Heavenward (1869). While most episodes in the story are described vividly, a few episodes concerning Christian perfection are written ambiguously. By comparing the story with her later work Urbané and His Friends, her letters, John Wesley's A Plain Account of Christian Perfection and W.E. Boardman's The Higher Christian Life, I will assert that this ambiguity is attributed to Prentiss’ perplexity about the Wesleyan and the Higher Life doctrines.

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Subjects: Literature ; Religion and Art, Literature, and Music

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