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Avery, Elizabeth

MARIE-LOUISE COOLAHAN


Subject Literature » Renaissance Literature

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405194495.2012.x


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Elizabeth Avery ( fl . 1614–53), prophet and author, was a radical religious voice and a significant figure in women's prophecy of the mid-seventeenth century. She believed herself to be an instrument through which God spoke, and her experiential understanding of the ‘last things’ led her to express a realized eschatology that anticipated Quakerism. Feminist critics have addressed her as a woman writer and recent scholarship has focused on her visionary theology and its contemporary contexts. Avery's family background was immersed in the politics of Presbyterianism and millennial thinking. Her father, Robert Parker, was a Puritan with Congregational sympathies whose first published work resulted in suspension from his ministry in Wiltshire, whence he fled to the Netherlands in 1607 or 1610. His wife and children joined him in Amsterdam in 1612 but returned on his death in 1614. Avery's brother, Thomas Parker, was educated at Oxford, Dublin, Leiden, and Franeker. He emigrated to America in 1634, where he co-founded Newbury, Massachussetts. As pastor there, he promoted Presbyterian church discipline and published an exegesis of the book of Daniel in 1646. Elizabeth married Timothy Avery, who is described in 1653 as having been a ‘commissionary’ in Ireland by the Independent and later Fifth Monarchist John Rogers. In 1647 Avery published Scripture-prophecies opened , in which she ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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