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Cotton Mather

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  • Peter J. Gomes dies at 68; Harvard's longtime spiritual leader

    Peter J. Gomes dies at 68; Harvard's longtime spiritual leader
    In a sermon some years ago, the Rev. Peter J. Gomes, Harvard University's longtime spiritual leader, offered a precise, if unconventional, definition of hell. He said hell is "being defined by your circumstances, and believing that definition."
  • America's hometowns, found in New England

    America's hometowns, found in New England
    It's autumn in New England The days are getting shorter. Wood piles are stacked high. Geese are flying south, and Indian corn is hanging from the door. People in new L.L. Bean flannels stop their cars in the middle of the road snapping pictures or...

    Puritans Viewed Christmas As Corrupt Religious Ritual

    The Grinch would have come up empty- handed in Colonial Connecticut. There would have been no presents under the tree, let alone a tree to steal. Christmas was viewed by the Puritans of New England as a corrupt religious, if not a pagan, ritual and was...

    "Intercourse," by Robert Olen Butler

    No serious writer in America works with a lighter touch than Robert Olen Butler. That sure hand, guided by a potent creative intelligence, saves books like "Tabloid Dreams" (1996), inspired by supermarket weekly headlines, from mere whimsy. Butler...

    "United States: Essays, 1952-1992" by Gore Vidal

    Gore Vidal the novelist's best character is Gore Vidal the essayist. Beside him even Myra Breckenridge seems a pale creation, and this great fat book, chronicling 40 years of the essayist's adventures, is like a lively picaresque novel in reverse. Its...