Essay on The Role of Religion in Early American Literature

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The Role of Religion in Early American Literature

1) The role of religion played a major role in early American literature. Many different authors form a variety of time period's incorporate religious ideas and philosophies into their writings. A few authors from different time periods that did this were Johnathan Edwards, Anne Bradstreet, and Henry David Thoreau. Anne Bradstreet was a Puritan. Much like all the other Puritans of her time she examined her conscience daily and that they always felt that they were humbled by God's creations and powers. One poem in which she expresses her religion's ideas and philosophies was "Contemplations". This poem was about very religious. In this poem she talks about her admiration of
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Johnathan Edwards was a very educated man and a religious one as well. He believed in personal perfection. Edwards also became the head of his grandfather's church when he died. Edwards tried to restore Puritan beliefs into the Christians of his time. He wanted to convert them from believers in the Christian religion into people who were genuinely motivated by their religious beliefs. This is why his writings have any sort of religious relevance. Everything that he wrote was meant to be sermon to make believe more in the religion. In "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God", he does just that. In this work he uses hell to scare people into believing that if you do something wrong that you will go to hell. This scared the people because most people didn't know better and they really thought hat was a place below the surface of the earth where one wold go spend eternity in a fire pit. He was saying that if you believe and repent you will be saved, but if not then you will burn. The third author, Thoreau, really doesn't discuss religion or popular religion (Christianity) at all. In, "Walden" he talks nothing of religion or god. It is almost as if he is starting his own religion of free thought and free land. In the introduction it even said that many of his followers were considered decibels. Walden his kind of like his bible. It says how he thinks should be and how if people choose to follow his ideas should think. Although his works are more
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