By Deborah L. Madsen (auth.)
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Additional info for Allegory in America: From Puritanism to Postmodernism
Canaan, the land of rest secured for the Jews, refers literally to the eternal rest awaiting us in heaven. Cushman is emphatic that in the present time there is no land so sanctified as was Canaan; there is no land 'given of God to any nation, as was Canaan, which they and their seed must dwell in, till God sendeth upon them sword or captivity' (p. 241). At the present, the faithful Christian has been left to wander in the 44 Allegory in America wilderness of this earth until Christ should return to transform earthly reality into a heavenly state.
But these repressed and marginalized energies Allegory in Colonial New England 41 have never been completely sublimated, despite the remarkable longevity of the American myth. The ideological manoeuvres that shaped American cultural history are clearly revealed through the analysis of those rhetorical styles which enshrine opposed cultural visions. Typology was the rhetorical style favoured by the Puritan colonists of New England precisely because of its characteristic linkage of the personal with the cultural.
The mystical meaning of each encounter is prescribed by each of the Virtues as the victory of Christ in a battle for the individual soul. The Virtues appropriate the significance of each battle for Christ as they seek an end to conflict in the reconcilation of the flesh and the spirit. This reconciliation is figured, within the narrative, by the building of a temple in which Wisdom is enthroned: an image which signifies the acceptance of Christ by the individual soul. In the manner prescribed by patristic exegetes like Origen of Alexandria, the allegory of the Psychomachia reveals the Christological significance of Scripture and the relevance of this dimension of meaning for the salvation of souls.
Allegory in America: From Puritanism to Postmodernism by Deborah L. Madsen (auth.)