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''With one eye constantly on the needs of the contemporary church, practical theologian Joanne Jung has recovered an important aspect of Christian community from old and neglected Puritan sources. This stimulating and important study examines the gathering of the saints in informal settings, or 'conferences,' where Scripture and sermons were discussed and 'ingested' to nurture the spiritual life. The cumulative effect of Jung's research is to put the topic of conference at the top of the list of important Puritan disciplines, thereby redressing the popular misconception that Puritans were individualists. The book offers us a detailed taxonomy of the types of Puritan conference, and it expounds for the first time the important role that women played in fostering the practice. The study is based on extensive original research in primary sources, and the author's infectious passion for the church and its history clearly demonstrates that the 'old' can illumine the 'new' and inform and guide the church today.'' - James E. Bradley, Geoffrey W. Bromiley Professor of Church History, Fuller Theological Seminary
Table of Contents:
Foreword, by J. I. Packer
1. In Search of Piety's Forgotten Discipline
2. A Royal Conflict over Prophesyings and the Origins of Puritan Conference
3. Scripture for Puritan Eyes: The Word Read
4. Scripture for Puritan Ears: The Word Heard
5. Holy Conference: 'A Kind of Paradise'
6. Holy Conference: Categorized and Exercised
7. Puritan Conference for the Contemporary Church