Date of Award

Summer 8-12-2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Reiner Smolinski

Second Advisor

Mark Noble

Third Advisor

Robert Lightsey


Edward Taylor indicates an awareness of 17th century religious melancholy in his "Preparatory Meditations," but the minister is largely excluded from current discourse surrounding religious melancholy in Puritan communities. Taylor's presence in this conversation serves to further understanding of religious melancholy in America and also of the complex nature of the condition that is of interest at the present time. Through an analysis of dominant images of the conversion experience from Edward Taylor's poetry, this thesis argues that Taylor provides intimate knowledge of the nature of religious melancholy and also offers a treatment option for the ailing Puritan in the form of hope for salvation.