Catalogue


John Eliot's mission to the Indians before King Philip's War /
Richard W. Cogley.
imprint
Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, 1999.
description
xii, 331 p. : maps ; 25 cm.
ISBN
0674475372 (hardcover : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, 1999.
isbn
0674475372 (hardcover : alk. paper)
catalogue key
2917369
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. [263]-321) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1999-11:
Based on a decade and more of research, this book offers a full and balanced treatment of the work of the most notable English missionary to native Americans in the 17th century and one of the half-dozen most intriguing personalities in early New England. Cogley (Southern Methodist Univ.) brings to the study a fuller grasp of Puritan thought than previous students of the subject. He sheds fresh light on English and native cultures, the style and psychosocial functions of Eliot's famous praying towns, and the distinctively "puritan" element in the place and period. With no ideological axe to grind, and grasping Eliot's project within the larger sweep of Puritan religious and eschatological ideals, he offers a number of correctives to prevalent views--most notably those of Francis Jennings (The Founders of America, CH Oct'93, and Empire of Fortune, CH Oct'88)--of Eliot's mission as a tool of English cultural and geographical imperialism. His argument, that the mission was more a way to counteract rather than to aid English domination, will spark lively debate. Endnotes, appendixes. Recommended for general readers and for undergraduates through faculty. T. D. Bozeman; University of Iowa
Reviews
Review Quotes
Based on a decade and more of research, this book offers a full and balanced treatment of the work of the most notable English missionary to native Americans in the 17th century and one of the half-dozen most intriguing personalities in early New England. Cogley brings to the study a fuller grasp of Puritan thought than previous students of the subject. He sheds fresh light on English and native cultures, the style and psychological functions of Eliot's famous praying towns, and the distinctively 'puritan' element in the place and period. With no ideological axe to grind, and grasping Eliot's project within the larger sweep of Puritan religious and eschatological ideals, he offers a number of correctives to prevalent views of Eliot's mission as a tool of English cultural and geographical imperialism. His argument, that the mission was more a way to counteract rather than to aid English domination, will spark lively debate.
Cogley's greatest contribution to Eliot research has always been his insistence that the 'theology' of the mission is as important as (indeed inseparable from) its practice...Cogley provides the fullest picture we have of the Eliot mission within its English religious, political, and transatlantic contexts; and for this his book is of considerable value.
The emergence of new approaches to Indian history in the 1970s brought a dramatic shift in scholarly treatments of John Eliot...This book is an attempt to restore balance to the subject. Richard Cogley devotes much of the work to addressing such criticisms, particularly those of Francis Jennings, and makes a persuasive case for swinging the pendulum back...Though his focus is clearly different from that of Jennings and others, Cogley also works to give the Indian perspective, noting ways they used the mission to advance their material well-being and authority within English and Indian cultures.
Cogley truly understands the seventeenth century's theological literature...[He] also understands the Puritan ministry--how it worked and how it expressed itself. His thorough grounding in Puritan religious thought, and the fact that he doesn't himself subscribe to Puritan ideology or have any stake in glorifying New England history, make Cogley the ideal scholar to explicate fairly the missionary program. And because Cogley is familiar with the full range of primary and secondary literature on the missionaries and on their Indian proselytes, he is able to give a perceptive, thorough, and persuasive portrait of the Puritan program. I consider Cogley's book the most original and important contribution to Puritan missionary studies that we've ever had and a very important addition to the larger and equally lively field of New England Puritan studies.
Smartly and provocatively, this book contests prevailing views of Puritan missionizing, and I predict that it will cause a major stir among historians of Puritanism, colonial New England, early American religion, and Eastern Woodlands Native Peoples. It presents a more complete and textured view of Eliot's work than we have previously possessed. No one before has grasped Eliot's project in its entirety. Moreover, no one has delved so carefully into Eliot's theology of mission...This book is important for the dialogue it will generate; scholars will have to re-evaluate the revisionist position very carefully.
This item was reviewed in:
Boston Globe, May 1999
Choice, November 1999
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Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
Examining John Eliot's mission to the Indians, Cogley delves into Eliot's theological writings and describes the historical development of Eliot's missionary work. By relating the two, he challenges the accepted assessments of the Puritan mission.
Main Description
No previous work on John Eliot's mission to the Indians has told such a comprehensive and engaging story. Richard Cogley takes a dual approach: he delves deeply into Eliot's theological writings and describes the historical development of Eliot's missionary work. By relating the two, he presents fresh perspectives that challenge widely accepted assessments of the Puritan mission. Cogley incorporates Eliot's eschatology into the history of the mission, takes into account the biographies of the proselytes (the "praying Indians") and the individual histories of the Christian Indian settlements (the "praying towns"), and corrects misperceptions about the mission's role in English expansion. He also addresses other interpretive problems in Eliot's mission, such as why the Puritans postponed their evangelizing mission until 1646, why Indians accepted or rejected the mission, and whether the mission played a role in causing King Philip's War. This book makes signal contributions to New England history, Native American history, and religious studies.
Table of Contents
The Context of the Mission
The Submission of the Sachems and the Birth of the Mission
The Early Development of the Mission
The Mission and the Millennium
The Natick Mission
The Remaining Praying Towns
Missionary Work outside Massachusetts Bay
The Supervision of the Mission
Conclusion: The Apostle and the Indians Appendixes
John Cotton's Lectures on Revelation and Canticles
Variant Indian Personal and Place Names in the Missionary History of Massachusetts Bay
Population Figures and Permanent and Temporary Personnel in the Prewar Settlements
Principal Nonantum and Petonset Indians
Eliot's Massachusett Publications Abbreviations
Principal Printed Sources
Notes
Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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