Godly Violence in the Puritan Atlantic World, 1636–1676
Title Details

332 Pages

23.4 x 15.6 cm

5 maps, 3 b/w illus.

Imprint: Boydell Press

Godly Violence in the Puritan Atlantic World, 1636–1676

A Study of Military Providentialism

by Matthew Rowley

  • Description
  • Contents
  • Author
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A rich analysis of the mindset of Puritans and of their theology which justified military action and acts of killing.

This book recounts Puritan struggles for military dominance and for an authoritative interpretation of God's agency in war. It asks: What did Puritans say was God's will in warfare; and how did they claim to know? It applies the term 'military providentialism' to this attempt to understand God's will and agency in war; and the term 'godly violence' to an act of killing that was deemed to be both just and holy. The book explores these themes by examining Puritan warfare against four groups: Native Americans, royalist Episcopalians, Irish Catholics and Scottish Presbyterians. It employs a wide range of printed and archival sources: sermons, treatises, official documents, newsbooks, letters, diaries, poems and objects related to material culture; and considers private providential interpretations written by obscure individuals alongside published works by more prominent people. Overall, the book provides a rich analysis of the mindset which sustained Puritan political theology and military action at the time when Puritans were at the height of their power on both sides of the Atlantic.
List of Images
Acknowledgements
List of Abbreviations
Conventions

1. Puritan Theology and the Pressure of War
2. Military Providentialism
3. Godly Violence

PART I: DAWN
4. Mystic Massacre (1637): 'Divine Slaughter by the Hand of the English'
5. Naseby (1645): 'Non nobis Domine, non nobis'

PART II: DAY
6. Drogheda (1649): 'Christ begins to reign as a Man of Blood'
7. Dunbar (1650): 'An Achan in the Scots Army'

PART III: DUSK
8. Great Swamp Fight (1675): 'Terrible things in righteousness'
9. Conclusion: Cross Conflict Comparison
10. Afterword: A Candle in the Dark

Bibliography
Matthew Rowley is a Visiting Assistant Professor of History at Fairfield University.
"Godly Violence is a timely exploration of the powerful religious convictions that underpinned military conflict in the puritan Atlantic world. By probing the passionate zeal of those who fought in the name of God in seventeenth-century Britain and its colonies, Matthew Rowley's book illuminates anew the enduring connections between theology and war." ALEXANDRA WALSHAM, Professor of Modern History, University of Cambridge
"Ranging across American, English, Irish and Scottish history, Matthew Rowley gives us a masterful treatment of that eternally challenging question: can religion be used to justify violence?" ALAN FORD, Emeritus Professor of Theology, University of Nottingham

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February 2024

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Title Details

332 Pages

2.34 x 1.56 cm

5 maps, 3 b/w illus.

Imprint: Boydell Press