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Toni MorrisonMemory and Meaning$
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Adrienne Lanier Seward and Justine Tally

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781628460193

Published to University Press of Mississippi: May 2015

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781628460193.001.0001

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Reading John Winthrop through the Morrison Trilogy

(p.132) Palimpsest
Toni Morrison

Justine Tally

University Press of Mississippi

John Winthrop’s famous sermon delivered on the Arbella in 1630 , “A Model of Christian Charity,” is a call to all Christians to follow Biblical ordinance, all the while insisting that both the Law of Nature and the Law of the Gospel emphasize not only Justice but more importantly Mercy. And what makes the act of mercy possible is its foundation in love. As enacted in the trilogy the central concern of Beloved is maternal love, while Jazz explores romantic passion, and Paradise the love not only of God but of any ideology. In Morrison’s reading no no love should obviate an ethics of the self nor come to dominate the individual person Examining the novels of the trilogy, “A Model of Christian Charity” is revealed to be the original text, forming a palimpsest through multiple and telling references which allow for a new reading of all these literary works. (149 words)

Keywords:   Morrison Trilogy, John Winthrop, Christian Charity, love, Ethics

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