Lucy Hutchinson and Puritan Education

Mark Burden

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Abstract

The critical construction of Hutchinson as a humanist poet and translator has led to insufficient attention being paid to the theological and religious forces that underpinned her attitudes to learning and education. This article examines the interplay between Hutchinson’s notions of religious and educational principles in her Memoirs of the Life of Colonel Hutchinson, her theological treatise to her daughter Barbara, and her translation of part of John Owen’s Theologoumena Pantodapa. I argue that Hutchinson uses the example of her husband’s education to explore the concepts of grace, devotion, and familiar kindness, which she contrasts to pedantic forms of learning and religion. Hutchinson’s theological treatise emphasises the importance of laying foundation truths in sound doctrine as a means to encourage correct practical religious principles. Hutchinson’s translations from Owen’s Theologoumena alter Owen’s erudite and abstruse original to provide a text suitable for perusal by the amateur theological autodidact. In all three texts, Hutchinson’s instinct is to emphasise the role of the intellect in education, despite her recognition of its post-lapsarian insufficiency.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-78
Number of pages16
JournalSeventeenth Century
Volume30
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Aug 2015

Keywords

  • Lucy Hutchinson
  • puritanism
  • history of education
  • Calvinism
  • John Owen

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