Murphy, Peter (1996) Peregrini. Thesis Eleven, 46 (1). pp. 1-32.

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[Extract] The Protestants who came to America considered themselves an elect people. Their ministers told them that God periodically chose a people for deliverance from bondage into the Promised Land. The ancient Israelites, the children of Abraham, were the first such chosen. The American Protestant settlers, their spiritual descendants, had a divine obligation to fulfill: to journey into the wilderness, tested along the way by trials of temptation and purification, until they reached the land of deliverance. Theirs was a God-given mission to settle the Western lands, and establish the New World Israel. The American wilds were vast and dangerous, inhabited by Indian tribes who fought against the intruders on their lands. But the American Israelites- with a conviction in this aspect more Augustinian than Old Testament - believed themselves a providential people, subject to divine providence. God, they were convinced, would watch over them in the midst of the howling wilderness.¹ God would guard them, and build a wall of fire around them. They knew, whatever the danger, they had God on their side. This was a powerful theology, and one at odds with a civic or classical order of things. Ideas of providence, redemption, the protection of an all-powerful God, and the journey into the wilderness were all foreign to the classical (Homeric or Virgilian) spirit.

Item ID: 23482
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1461-7455
Date Deposited: 04 Jan 2013 01:17
FoR Codes: 22 PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGIOUS STUDIES > 2203 Philosophy > 220319 Social Philosophy @ 100%
SEO Codes: 94 LAW, POLITICS AND COMMUNITY SERVICES > 9402 Government and Politics > 940201 Civics and Citizenship @ 100%
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