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Publisher: Colonial Society of Massachusetts
Cooper, James R., Minkema, Kenneth P.
Few events from the colonial era have captured the American imagination like the Salem witchcraft hysteria of 1692-1693. And no individual was more influential in shaping Salem Village's response to the crisis than the Rev. Samuel Parris, pastor of the local church. The Sermon Notebook of Samuel Parris presents for the first time all of the extant sermons that Parris preached before his congregation from his ordination in 1689, through the summer trials and executions in 1692, and into the aftermath of the controversy, when an angry congregation forced Parris from office. This volume provides a fascinating glimpse into the cultural climate of the village and the mind of its pastor, who from the outset of his ministry became preoccupied with betrayal, hidden evil in the church, and the ongoing warfare between the forces of God and the minions of Satan. Well in advance of the hysteria, Parris boldly predicted an invasion of devils, announcing that an "angry" God was "sending forth destroyers" loyalto Satan, "the grand enemy of the Church". The sermons in this volume reveal how Parris built upon these themes in later sermons to help shape and reinforce interpretations that isolated witchcraft as the root cause of the strange afflictions in Salem Village. Illuminating both the cultural context of the hysteria and the minister's struggles with his congregation, The Sermon Notebook of Samuel Parris stands as one of the most important primary sources relating to the Salem witchcraft episode.Cooper, James R. is the author of 'Sermon Notebook of Samuel Parris, 1689-1694' with ISBN 9780962073717 and ISBN 0962073717.