Date: May 1999
Creator: Wu, John Guo Qiang
Description: "The Religious Dimensions of William Faulkner: An Inquiry into the Dichotomy of Puritanism" traces a secular mode of thinking of American moral superiority and the gospel of success to its religious origins. The study shows that while the basis for American moral superiority derives from the typological correspondence between sacred history and American experience, the gospel of success results from the Puritan preoccupation with work as a virtue instead of a necessity because labor improves one's lot in this world while securing salvation in the next. By explaining how Puritanism begins as a rejection of worldliness but ends as an orgy of materialism, my study raises and addresses the paradoxical nature of the Puritan legacy: Why should the Puritan work ethic, when subverted by its logical conclusion---the gospel of success, result in the undoing of Puritan spirituality in its mission of redeeming the Old World? Furthermore, this inquiry examines the role Puritanism plays in creating the mythologies of America as the New World Garden, the white man as the American Adam, the black man as the American Ham, and the white woman as the American Eve. In the Puritan use of biblical typology, blacks and women function as the white ...
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