Whatever happened to Dinah the Black?
And other questions about gender, race, and the visibility of Protestant saints
in Conversions
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In The Exceeding Riches of Grace, “Dinah the Black” is listed among the witnesses who can attest to the veracity of Henry Jessey’s account of Sarah Wight’s prophetic trances in the spring and summer of 1647. The designation “Dinah the Black” stands out in a list of persons of “esteeme amongst many that fear the Lord in London”, yet what is extraordinary about Dinah’s appearance is that it is not especially marked as extraordinary. This chapter takes Dinah’s appearance as indicative of the experience of black converts, arguing that her case marks some limits of acceptance into the godly communities of English visible saints. This chapter explores the valences of visibility and godliness, singularity and universality, race and religion as they informed or are illustrated by the practices of the English Protestant saints within the context of large-scale conversions of indigenous people in the East Indies.

Conversions

Gender and religious change in early modern Europe

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