"Chosen Vessels:" Protestant Women Prophets and the Language of Election in the Early Modern British Atlantic 公开

Bouldin, Elizabeth (2012)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/8s45q963q?locale=zh


"Chosen Vessels:" Protestant Women Prophets and the Language of Election
in the Early Modern British Atlantic

"Chosen Vessels" considers over one hundred women who prophesied between the
British Civil Wars and the eve of the eighteenth-century transatlantic awakenings. I argue
that the rich and varied expressions of election rhetoric among women prophets from a
range of religious groups attest to the existence of a broad cultural discourse on election
and chosenness. Election, or the claim of being chosen by God, was more than doctrinal;
it became a powerful rhetorical tool with far-reaching effects on the formation of
religious and national identities. How women prophets participated in and negotiated
election discourse was key to how they worked out their own beliefs about their elect
status. More broadly, it was also central to how women shaped ideas about the role of
election in the lives of individuals and communities in the diverse religious environment
of the expanding Atlantic world.

Through a consideration of groups such as the Quakers, Philadelphians, French Prophets,
Labadists, and radical German Pietists, this dissertation examines how transsectarian and
transnational encounters challenged British prophets' understandings of who comprised
the "elect" and what "election" signified. The study also challenges arguments that have
tied the feminization of late seventeenth-century religious discourse to the
domesticization or decline of women's religious roles. I show how some women
continued to participate actively in public religious life by claiming that they had been
chosen for particular roles related to the end times. These women played a central part in
the development of a transnational religious sphere, one in which dissenters carried out
conversations and critical debates with one another about the nature of radical

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Chapter One: Female Prophecy and Language of Election during the Civil Wars and Restoration 36

Chapter Two: Female Prophecy, Election, and the Transatlantic Quaker Community 73

Chapter Three: "Cloathed with the Sun:" Ann Bathurst and the Gendering of Prophecy 132

Chapter Four: The Philadelphians, the French Prophets, and the Problem of Prophetic Authority, c. 1706-1715 181

Chapter Five: "Peculiar People in all Parts and Denominations of Christendom:" Religious Encounters among Radical Protestants, c. 1660-1730 232

Conclusion 279

Bibliography 292

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