Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Puritanism: a piety of joy

Today I discovered something exciting - well, exciting to me (and perhaps to no-one else except my mum). The one and only article I wrote about the Puritans is online!1

The Gospel Coalition has published all the old issues of Kategoria, a quarterly journal edited by Kirsten Birkett and put out by Matthias Media from 1996 to 2004.

There, in issue number 10, published wa-a-ay back in 1998, shortly after I finished my PhD and just before my daughter was born, is an article by yours truly:

Puritanism: a piety of joy.

For me, reading it was like visiting an earlier self: a scholarly pre-child self, who had forgotten more about the Puritans than I will ever remember, and who spoke (or wrote, at least) with long footnotes and a knowledgeable tone.

I enjoyed the article. It's not a bad read. You might enjoy it to. You'll find it here, on page 11. Here's a quote to whet your appetite, from the Puritan preacher John Collinges' sermons on the Song of Songs:

Is Jesus Christ precious to you? Is his name to your soul like an ointment poured forth? Is your whole heart filled with the sweet smell of Jesus Christ? Are you ravished with his love? Does the very thinking of Christ ravish your heart? Does the naming of him carry your soul almost above itself in an ecstasy of love? Is he like an apple to your taste, that your mouth is filled with the sweetness of his juice? Are you melted with his love?2.
And if that doesn't puncture your pre-conceptions about the sober-minded, black-hatted, joy-squashing Puritans, nothing will.

I might bring you some more quotes in coming weeks.

1. Thanks, Lionel, for letting me know, and Sandy for drawing his attention to it.
2. John Collinges, Five Lessons for a Christian to Learne, 1650, sermon 1, page 49.


Meredith said...

I'm excited too! As I said in an earlier comment, I think the Puritans are going to be my new best friends. Have bookmarked this for the summer.

Jean said...

:) My very dear Meredith, I will add you to the list of people - you, me and my mum - who are excited about such a thing!

charissa said...

I wrote a book review for Kategoria. Now I am online too!! I'm excited by that!

Jean said...

:) I'll have to find it and read it...

Jean said...

ps what book was it for?

charissa said...

It was on Naomi Wolf's book Misconceptions in the very last issue!

Jean said...

It's in issue 30, the second last issue, Charissa. I just printed it out for some light bedtime reading. :) It looks very interesting - I'm fascinated by Naomi Wolf but haven't read anything by her except some interviews and articles - so I'm looking forward to reading your article!

charissa said...

I thought Misconceptions was very interesting and agreed with lots of what she said although not necessarily her solutions. But I gave up on Beauty Myth, I found it just too strident. Hope the article is interesting enough to make it worth tracking down. Really can't remember what I wrote!!