REPRESENTATIONS OF SPIRITUALITY AND RELIGIOUS DIFFERENCE
In this brief essay I will examine Felltham's "Of Puritans", and Evans' and Chevers' Cruel Sufferings, and compare the representations of spirituality, religion and religious difference. I chose these texts because the authors have such completely different opinions and perspectives regarding the same religious and spiritual ideologies.
Evans and Chevers are writing in the form of an autobiographical account of their imprisonment in Malta. Evan writes, "I told him I did not fear, the Lord was on our side, and he had no power but what he had received". This simple statement announces that they are protected as they know the true path to God, but more than that, it states their purpose and their mission in life. They know the path and must share it with others to fulfill their obligations to Him, regardless of personal safety.
While being questioned of their faith they answer honestly, though they will not swear to it.
Their beliefs are simple; they rigidly follow what is written in the Scriptures. They do not find the words "Catholic", "sacrament" or "purgatory" in the Scriptures and therefore did not acknowledge them. Their guidelines are very narrow, black and white with no gray areas. It is interesting to me that these women, who must have experienced persecution on English soil for their beliefs, would venture to strange lands to face worse possible fates.
Owen Felltham has different religious beliefs and makes them public in this commentary titled Of Puritans. Felltham is of the opinion that although many would like to be called Puritans but few if any can live up to the name. He states, "It imports a kind of excellency above another". He also contends that the term has yet to be properly defined, listing the dissenting...