Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Winthrop, "A Modell of Christian Charity"
--Winthrop takes as his starting point a fairly major topic, the notion that God has "disposed" to make social inequality among mankind. What is his explanation of this and to what extent does this fit or not fit with your own social values (or your general sense of the social values and attitudes toward inequality in our times)?
--This text takes the form of a sermon, with frequent citations of scripture and elaborate rhetorical structures (naming of points, interpolated questions and answers, etc.). How effective is this as a persuasive document to you?
--The second part of the sermon applies the ideas of the first to the notion of a Puritan community and likens the Puritans to the Old Testament Jews, as the chosen people of God. This is both a promise and a threat: New England can become a "city upon a hill," but it can also become a "shipwreck" which all the world will witness. Do you think this self-consciousness, the awareness that others are watching your community, would have a positive or negative effect upon the workings of the community?