Cogley, Richard W. 1950-
COGLEY, Richard W. 1950-
Office—Southern Methodist University, 6425 Boaz Lane, Dallas, TX 75205. E-mail—[email protected].
Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX, associate professor and chair of department of religious studies, 1999—. Visiting professor at North Carolina State University, Loyola Marymount University, and Reed College.
Contributor of articles and reviews to periodicals, including William and Mary Quarterly.
WORK IN PROGRESS:
Research of early American Puritan eschatology.
Richard W. Cogley's many years of research into the conversion of Native Americans in Southern New England by the English during the seventeenth century led to his study John Eliot's Mission to the Indians before King Philip's War. The primary figure in the volume is John Eliot, who was involved in nearly every missionary effort in the area. Eliot is seen by Cogley as a man of pure intentions who delayed converting natives until they could observe the Christian practices of the colonists and voluntarily become members of the "praying towns" that were established for that purpose. According to Cogley, Eliot also waited until the demands of the Massachusetts settlement had been met, and he cites the language barrier and the Congregational Church's lack of a missionary arm as other factors. Eliot began his active missionary work with native people in 1646, after a number of sachems voluntarily submitted to English authority.
Choice reviewer T. D. Bozeman noted that Cogley takes issue with a number of previously held views, one being that Eliot's mission was the expansion of English imperialism and culture. Bozeman wrote that Cogley's argument "that the mission was more a way to counteract rather than to aid English domination will spark lively debate."
Jenny Hale Pulsipher reviewed the volume in the Journal of Ecclesiastical History, stating that Cogley "works to give the Indian perspective, noting ways they used the mission to advance their material well-being and authority within English and Indian cultures." Most of the settlements had populations of less than one hundred, but the native Americans who lived there had many advantages. They assimilated fastest as English settlement expanded, and they began cottage industries that produced needed materials, such as clapboard shingles. They learned other trades and often became apprentices. In addition, they were still self-sustaining, in that they continued to plant, hunt, and fish.
Eliot and others, in the work of converting native Americans, promoted the necessity of wearing English-style clothing and the adoption of a more European lifestyle, which included accepting more Puritanical sexual behaviors. On the other hand, Cogley points out that Eliot furthered the land rights of the tribes and encouraged them to continue their medical practices, which he also encouraged them to share with the settlers.
H. Roger Grant wrote in Utopian Studies that "Cogley's study is a masterpiece of scholarship. As any good historian should do, he has exploited a vast array of primary source materials and …pertinent secondary works. Although no study is ever 'definitive,' this one is close. Moreover, Cogley has wisely created several appendixes, including one on individual praying Indian settlements. Finally, Richard Cogley has presented John Eliot in a logical and readable fashion."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
American Historical Review, June, 2000, Edward G. Gray, review of John Eliot's Mission to the Indians before King Philip's War, p. 917.
Catholic Historical Review, October, 1999, Neal Salisbury, review of John Eliot's Mission to the Indians before King Philip's War, p. 652.
Choice, November, 1999, T. D. Bozeman, review of John Eliot's Mission to the Indians before King Philip's War, p. 554.
Historian, fall, 2000, Robin Fabel, review of John Eliot's Mission to the Indians before King Philip's War, p. 140.
Journal of American History, September, 2000, Virginia DeJohn Anderson, review of John Eliot's Mission to the Indians before King Philip's War, p. 639.
Journal of Ecclesiastical History, July, 2000, Jenny Hale Pulsipher, review of John Eliot's Mission to the Indians before King Philip's War, p. 637.
Utopian Studies, spring, 2000, H. Roger Grant, review of John Eliot's Mission to the Indians before King Philip's War, p. 247.*