The Puritan Literary Imagination
One of the highlights of Regent Summer Programs is our free Evening Public Lectures. This series always features a wide range of professors and topics, and this year is no exception. All lectures will be streamed online, so invite a friend and join us!
Despite being renowned in the popular imagination for their allegedly serious-minded, anti-arts tendencies, the Puritans were surprisingly influential on literary writing up to the present day. In the seventeenth-century the Puritans developed a theology that was recognisably their own and this became a ‘worldview’ that impacted literature of the time as well as its theology. This lecture will explore the puritan legacy as it emerges in imaginative and other forms of literature. Profoundly influential texts include John Milton’s Paradise Lost and John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress. It will elucidate a seventeenth-century and Puritan view of humanity and its place in the world with regard to the period’s theology, poetry, and prose (including fiction, autobiography and personal letters). Then it will explore the ongoing influence and presence of a Puritan worldview upon literature up to the present day, despite common perceptions of such a thing being confined to history.
Johanna Harris is Senior Lecturer in English Literature at the University of Exeter, UK. She has published on sixteenth- and seventeenth-century English puritanism and co-edited The Intellectual Culture of Puritan Women. She is currently working on The Correspondence of Richard Baxter (as co-general editor) and The Oxford Traherne.
Visit our YouTube channel for more video content from Regent College, or tune in here to watch this event at Wednesday, Jun 2, 2021 at 7:30PM Pacific Time.