Journal Article

Saving Edward Taylor's Purse: Masculine Devotion in the <i>Preparatory Meditations</i>

Nathan Hitchcock

in Literature and Theology

Volume 22, issue 3, pages 339-353
Published in print September 2008 | ISSN: 0269-1205
Published online July 2008 | e-ISSN: 1477-4623 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/litthe/frn038
Saving Edward Taylor's Purse: Masculine Devotion in the Preparatory Meditations

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Edward Taylor's Preparatory Meditations, hundreds of private poems designed to temper himself for reception of the Lord's Supper, couch penitence in distinctively sexed language. While all evidence points to Taylor's de facto embodiment as the masculine ideal in Puritan Massachusetts, his introspective poetry often casts him in the feminine persona. Before God Taylor enacts an inner liturgy of submission and insemination wherein, by means of a gynetic dialectic, he obtains authenticity. But Taylor also achieves the same thing through an explicitly masculine performance. This article extends Ivy Schweitzer's work by attending to the andrological imagery of circumcision and emasculation, expressions of abnegation through which Taylor actually reinforces the authority of his manly self.

Journal Article.  6542 words. 

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

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