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  • Roger Williams, St. Paul, and American Primitivism
  • John J. Teunissen (bio) and Evelyn J. Hinz (bio)
John J. Teunissen

john j. teunissen is Professor and Head of the Department of English, University of Manitoba.

Evelyn J. Hinz

evelyn j. hinz is a graduate student in the Department of English at the University of Manitoba.


1. See Perry Miller, “Roger Williams: An Essay in Interpretation”, in The Complete Writings of Roger Williams, 7 vols. (N.Y., 1963), vol. VII, p. 14. All references to Williams’ writings will be to this edition, with quotations identified in parentheses by volume and page numbers within the text. Miller’s analysis of Williams’ biblicism is oversimplified and has been corrected by Sacvan Bercovitch, “Typology in Puritan New England: The Williams-Cotton Controversy Reassessed”, AQ, XIX (Summer, 1967), 166–91. For a comprehensive examination of typology see also Typology and Early American Literature, edited by Sacvan Bercovitch (Amherst, 1972) and especially “The Separatist Background of Roger Williams’ Argument for Religious Toleration”, by Richard Reinitz, pp. 107–37.

2. The issues and events of the controversy have been definitively discussed by Edmund S. Morgan, Roger Williams: The Church and the State (N.Y., 1967), and more recently by Henry Chupack, Roger Williams (N.Y., 1969), and John Garrett, Roger Williams: Witness Beyond Christendom (N.Y., 1970). Morgan notes only in passing (pp. 21, 110, 112) the importance to Williams of the teachings and example of Paul. The Pauline authorship of Hebrews was already being questioned by Protestant commentators, but we have no way of knowing where Williams stood on the issue.

3. See also IV, 273 ff; VI, 348; VII, 232.

4. See the “Introduction” to our edition of A Key (Detroit, 1973).

See Joseph Caryl, An Exposition with practicall observations upon the Eighth, Ninth, and Tenth Chapters of the Book of Job (London, 1647), p. 32.

6. William Bradford, Of Plymouth Plantation 1620–1647, ed. Samuel Eliot Morison (N.Y., 1967), p. 205.



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