Abstract

In March 1703, hundreds of New England sailors returned home after years of slavery in the Barbary States. In response, Cotton Mather authored and circulated a sermon titled The Glory of Goodness. This text, ostensibly given in celebration of the captives’ return, gave voice to an exceptionalist understanding of Puritan identity premised on foreign—notably Muslim—others. It therefore informs our understanding of early eighteenth-century colonial depictions of Islam, while bearing insight for discourses surrounding Puritan exceptionalism, the rhetorical construction of race, and the articulation of religious identity in New England following the Glorious Revolution.

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