What Is A Spiritual Autobiography

Spiritual autobiography is a nonfiction literary form that dominated Protestant writing in the seventeenth century, notably among dissidents in England. The story follows a believer from a condition of damnation to one of grace; probably John Bunyan's Grace Abounding is the most renowned example (1666).

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How do you write a spiritual autobiography about yourself?

Spiritual Autobiography is one of the numerous varieties of concentrated memoir. A spiritual autobiography is a chronological account of one's spiritual influences and life milestones. My own autobiography, for example, might include high school and college graduations, a job path, and marriages, births, and divorces. But there are insights and epiphanies in my spiritual autobiography! It includes a story about a good pastor who was driven out of town by hypocrites, prompting me to leave the church as a teenager, as well as a transcendental experience that led me to seek out a guru. The work route becomes a tool for serving others and meeting new people. The unsuccessful marriages become a preparation for true and lasting love, rather than a tale of naiveté and suffering.

Writing about your own spiritual journey helps you to understand what you've learnt and where you've been. Spiritual autobiography is a cleansing process because of the goal, creation, and assessment that it entails.

Begin by stating your intention in your present spiritual practice, such as prayer or meditation. Make a list of the events in your life that influenced your attitude and philosophy in a brainstorming framework. Did you find a new path after a particularly trying period? Next, think about persons who have had a positive impact on your life. Do you have a spiritual text that was given to you with love? Did someone reach out to you and assist you in overcoming a challenge? These recollections will start to flow soon. Return later to write the stories based on your outline. Continue on the spiritual path that has affected you. If you like to work visually, instead of outlining, you may create a map or timeline; recalling music or speeches can be a useful aid for individuals whose ears are key conduits for the spirit.

Your spiritual autobiography can be summarized, sketched, or expanded into a book. After you've completed your account, you'll feel relieved and ready to move on to the next step. The fact that you are reflecting and seeking will attract what you require to grow spiritually in the future. You'll be adding chapters to the document or creating a new volume as you have new experiences.

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What is the difference between an autobiography and a spiritual autobiography?

I'm sorry, but I'm unable to attend. Maybe you'd like to come to one of my Wednesday sessions at 10 or 11 a.m. instead of my Monday group. If you are unable to do so, Alice is certain that you will be able to attend one of her sessions this afternoon.

First and foremost, I should state that this section is a) new and b) something I developed myself. Because there isn't much published on the subject, I've posted an essay on the website about spiritual autobiography—about it's the political/historical background of women's spiritual autobiographies—please utilize it. The Puritan persecution during the Restoration is, of course, the political setting. The year is 1674. It must be after 1672 since that is when John Bunyan returned—he spent the longest stretch of time in jail of any Nonconformist, from 1660 when Charles returned until 1672 when there was a brief period of amnesty following the Declaration of Indulgence. This is the most heinous persecution in the history of Europe in the seventeenth century.

Last year, many people used Spiritual Autobiographies for their second evaluated essay; several of them were excellent, and several of them were placed into the Early English Books Online undergraduate essay competition. By the end of January, we'll know if any of them won. For the past four years, our course has earned one or two prizes in the EEBO competition—and that means actual money for you. Look at the What's New section of the EEBO website.

1. Type of music

These are referred to as “Spiritual Autobiographies” in the collection, but they are nothing like current autobiographies. The idea isn't really self-construction; it's more like self-DEStruction. You'll see why after you comprehend Calvinism. These documents are more concerned with what God does in people's lives than with what people do in their lives… They must demonstrate God's work in the soul, and the way they do so is by illustrating how Nonconformists believe God works. As a result, the accounts all follow the same pattern. In some ways, it isn't accurate to claim that these are literary patterns; rather, they are patterns prescribed by their theology. These manuscripts have a perspective that is significantly different from current autobiography. It's experience, but it's experience defined in a spiritual sense, and it has to do with the relationship with Christ.

This is a part from Isaac Ambrose's 1652 guide to the Christian life, Prima Media Ultima—the First, the Middle, and the Last Things in the Christian Life. The journals originate from the center—Media. In the book, this is image 190. The previous chapter dealt with Experiences; the types of experiences that should be recorded, as well as their significance, were listed.

1. The Wicked's Judgment

2. The Love of God for the Saints

3. Various Afflictions and Chastisements inflicted on me and others

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4. Making Good on My Promises to Myself and Others

5. The enticing temptations of the world, the triumph of sin, and Satan's deception

6. Worldly Victories, Lusts, Temptations, Corruptions, and Satan

7. God's Providences Observations

10. Beguiling heart deceptions

Here are the first two examples that Ambrose offered us, which were most likely drawn from his own journal. Preston's perspective of events during the Civil War is fascinating…. (picture 177)

In one of them, vengeance for drinking occurs, and Puritans expected retribution—there is no doubt that Agnes' father was punished for his abuse of Agnes. Mr Farrow, an anti-Puritan, is also chastised in Agnes' writings, though I don't believe he is a Papist like the unfortunates in Ambrose's diary.

Evidences—Isaac Ambrose's own Evidences—are on the next page of your handout. You can probably tell where this originated from now. It stemmed from a desire to demonstrate that you were elected. Everyone was invited to present their ‘Evidences for Heaven,' which mainly dealt with how holy they thought they were. Edmund Calamy published Elizabeth Moore's renowned funeral sermon, which featured hers, as ‘Evidences for Heaven.'

Agnes Beaumont took evidence very seriously—it was practically a life or death situation for her. She was suspected of murdering her father, which was minor treason—consider how patriarchal this society is—almost as horrible as genuine treason, and both carried the death penalty. I believe that the attractiveness of this story at the time it was written was as confirmation of her innocence. It was even published under the title ‘Real Faith' a little over 100 years later, proving Agnes Beaumont's religion was correct.

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We're dealing with a society that considers words to be proof. To be fair, we still do it in court, under oath—but not with bits of writing.

I just wanted to point you how subjective all of this “proof” is.—

Beaumonts and Ambroses Even more subjective than ‘experiences,' which can be interpreted in a variety of ways. Would any of them be considered “proof” today? They're all about feelings, which is significant because feelings WERE evidence for Puritans. On the opposite side of the Evidences page, you'll notice that they occasionally had to make do without the correct sentiments—and then they had to believe in God's promises in the Bible, which is why the feelings are backed up by a column of Bible references. This is also true of Agnes' story, which is filled with emotions and Bible connections.

I'm not sure about you, but I don't think today's diaries are full of such events. Journaling reveals the types of self-concepts you're working with. What are the contents of today's? Emotions, feelings? These would have appeared self-indulgent at the time because they were not regarded important. I know what was in my diary as a teenager, and I was shocked to learn recently that my mother and sister had figured out how to open the simple lock on it. It was all about the boys I was interested in. But that was because I considered my marriage to be the most essential aspect of my life. As a result, my life was a romance that ended before I reached my mid-twenties, and then there was a long void… I could have done with my own Media and Ultima! But, of course, I was reading romances…. I'm hoping things have changed since then. However, this meant that certain details became more important—you read things into glances, conversations, and minor incidents…

I hope you can see how what you think to be your life's fundamental pattern explains how you interpret daily events—a it's framework within which you interpret things.

Agnes Beaumont's journals could be seen as evidence of her love connection with God. There are hints that God is speaking to her, possibly through the Bible. Bunyan came by when she needed a lift to the meeting, which was a nice thing to happen. Dreams that are meaningful. Things that she believes God has placed in her thoughts are coming to her mind. One of the thoughts that came to her was that she should spend the night in the barn with God. This is a historic occasion. God names her ‘beloved' because she is miraculously warm and pleasant. She receives messages from God that she interprets as occurrences in her life—'consider it not unusual concerning the burning tribulations which are to try you,' she says. Of course, these are all taken from the Bible.

All of these events are meaningful to Agnes, but I'm curious whether you've considered how much effort it takes to present them as significant. She wants to present her father's permission to go to the meeting as a work of God, so she describes how stubborn he is, then describes how she must always pray, and finally describes how much God speaks to her when she arrives at the meeting—all of this is done so that we can grasp the full significance of ‘going to the meeting' in her narrative proper.

—as a result, dreams can be prophetic. The apple tree that had fallen to the ground was her dream. This is a very effective storytelling device that can be used in two ways. 1. It creates suspense because she tells us at the time that this dream was significant and relates it to her father's death, which makes it more interesting. 2. It demonstrates God's favor by giving her this dream—and she tells us she had no idea what it meant at the time, which is significant since it proves the dream is genuine. (Of course, it's possible that all of this is just rhetorical—what do you think?)

All of these ‘events,' according to Ambrose, should be recorded in a journal.

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This type of thing may be found in most spiritual autobiographies. I believe journals and autobiographies are the same thing—the current concept of autobiography hasn't taken off yet, and I believe most people at the time would find it incredibly self-centered. As Ambrose explains, gathering experience is crucial because it allows you to figure out where you are in your Christian life and what God is doing with you. This material, according to Ambrose, is Evidence—proof that God is operating in you, and as Calvinists know, that stuff is gold dust. This is why autobiographies are filled with the kinds of events outlined above—they serve to establish that you are a member of the chosen few. That, I believe, is why so many journals, manuscripts that no longer exist, are mentioned in funeral sermons as proof that the deceased person was elected.

Because they can help others understand what it's like to be a member of the elect, they're frequently shared in manuscript form as a kind of'scribal publication.'

You have the manuscript sources for Agnes Beaumont's account on your handout, both of which are at the British Library. They're from the Manuscrpt Catalogue of the British Library. These entries have a message for you.

What are the types of autobiography?

Thematic, religious, philosophical, and fictionalized autobiographies are the four sorts of autobiographies. The first category contains publications with a variety of aims, such as Edward Bok's Americanization (1920) and Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf (1925, 1927). The autobiographical chapters of Thomas Carlyle's Sartor Resartus and John Henry Cardinal Newman's Apologia in the 19th century claim a number of great works, ranging from Augustine and Kempe to the autobiographical chapters of Thomas Carlyle's Sartor Resartus and John Henry Cardinal Newman's Apologia. Several intellectual autobiographies were written during that century and the early twentieth century, notably the harshly critical Autobiography of the philosopher John Stuart Mill and The Education of Henry Adams. Finally, the autobiography thinly disguised as, or changed into, the novel is equivalent to the novel as biography. The Way of All Flesh (1903), James Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916), George Santayana's The Last Puritan (1935), and Thomas Wolfe's novels are among the works in this category. Nonetheless, parts of all four categories can be found in all of these books; the best autobiographies frequently ignore these differences.

How do I write a spiritual journey?

Here are some pointers to help you construct the spiritual journey of your main character:

  • Write an incident early in your book that validates your character's Lie in their lives.

What is intellectual autobiography?

Each student will write an Intellectual Autobiography, which will consist of a statement (no more than 1200 words) outlining the topics or areas in which the student's scholarship has focused thus far and where the student expects his or her scholarship to develop in the future.

What is a Fictionalised autobiography?

Between a fictionalized autobiography or memoir and autobiographical fiction, there is a thin line. The author shares nuggets from his or her life in both circumstances. The distinction is in the degree to which they differ. Dramatized autobiographies are mainly true accounts of the author's life, with sections fictionalized to “protect the innocent,” gaps filled when memory fails, and events rearranged occasionally for dramatic effect. In general, the reader is expected to trust the author's narrative and accept it as fact.

Autobiographical fiction, on the other hand, is primarily made up events and characters that may or may not be based on the author's own experience and self. The protagonist could be based on the author and do at least some of the things that the author has done in his or her life. The proportion of truth to fabrication, on the other hand, will be quite tiny.

Of course, there are a slew of variations—as you may know, writers despise being pigeonholed into a specific genre. And some of the best novels on the market are practically impossible to classify as memoir or fiction. We as readers are unlikely to know how much of a memoir has been fabricated or how much of a writer's personal life appears in a book designated as fiction unless the writer is Dave Eggers, who meticulously specified all potential fictionalizations in his memoir A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius.

What is the purpose of an autobiography?

People write autobiographies for a number of reasons, and they use a variety of media to reach out to a wide range of readers. Autobiography is a social process for some, such as John Lennon, and a way of reflecting on our culture for others, such as Alfred Kazin.

Diverse Rhetorical Situations

A brief autobiography or profile's most typical objective is to illustrate an important difficulty or event in the author's life. Autobiography authors may attempt to entertain or educate their readers. They may hope that through telling their tale, readers may have a better understanding of the lives of people from various backgrounds.

Writers may, on the other hand, seek self-awareness. They may provide personal accounts of significant events in their lives. They could write a cultural autobiography, for example, in which they explore how parts of their upbringing—family, friends, church, schools, and community—helped to develop their identity, sense of what is possible, and perception of what is important. Some authors may adopt a false persona and write a fictional autobiography under that persona.

Autobiographies typically use a strong personal voice in the first person, and they frequently use story-telling strategies such as captivating the reader with an engaging start, dialog, showing rather than telling, and employing rich description.

Secondary research (library or Internet research) and primary research are rarely used by autobiographers (questionnaires, interviews, or ethnographies). Rather than focusing on other people's lives, external research, or assessments of other people's work, autobiographers go within, asking who they are, who they can become, and why their world perspective is what it is.

A college education can help you assess events, empathize with people, and grasp how cultural assumptions influence behavior. Learning to assess your thoughts and question how others may be attempting to deceive you is one of the key reasons for becoming educated. The blank sheet, maybe more than any other medium, provides you with the ideal opportunity to question your assumptions and investigate the conflicts in your life.

Because autobiography entails thinking about who you are and why you make decisions, it's easy to miss how autobiographies differ from standard academic writing, which focuses on themes other than the self. However, on a practical level, autobiographical writing necessitates many of the same thinking processes as other types of writing. When writing an autobiography, for example, you'll almost certainly investigate causes and effects, hypothesis about developmental stages, and perhaps even persuade a reader that your actions were correct.

What are the characteristics of an autobiography?

As previously stated, an autobiography is a written account of a person's life. Autobiographies are typically written in the first person. This implies that the narrator, or the one who tells the story, is also a character in it. If the narrator employs the personal pronouns I, me, and my, the story is written in first-person.

Because the author frequently chronicles the events of his or her entire life, autobiographies are usually book-length. Here are some instances of autobiographies that are longer than a book: