Advisor

David Johnson

Date of Award

2009

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in History

Department

History

Physical Description

1 online resource (167 p.)

Subjects

Puritan women -- Religious life -- Massachusetts -- Boston -- 17th century, Halfway covenant, Patriarchy -- New England -- 17th century

DOI

10.15760/etd.5546

Abstract

Although seventeenth-century New England has been one of the most heavily studied subjects in American history, women's lived experience of Puritan church membership has been incompletely understood. Histories of New England's Puritan churches have often assumed membership to have had universal implications, and studies of New England women either have focused on dissenting women or have neglected women's religious lives altogether despite the centrality of religion to the structure of New England society and culture.

This thesis uses pamphlets, sermons, and church records to demonstrate that women's church membership in Massachusetts's Puritan churches differed from men's because women were prohibited from speaking in church or from voting in church government. Despite the Puritan emphasis on spiritual equality, women experienced a modified form of membership stemming from their subordinate place in the social hierarchy.

Description

If you are the rightful copyright holder of this dissertation or thesis and wish to have it removed from the Open Access Collection, please submit a request to pdxscholar@pdx.edu and include clear identification of the work, preferably with URL

Persistent Identifier

http://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/20683

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