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Keywords:

  • Anglicanism;
  • difference;
  • non-Christian religions;
  • otherness;
  • universalism

In his Purchas his Pilgrimage (1613) Samuel Purchas claimed to ‘bring Religion from Paradise to the Arke, and thence follow her about the World, and (for her sake) obserue the World it selfe, with the seuerall Countries and peoples therein’. This project was clearly ambitious and encyclopaedic, incorporating all the religions of the known world with the exclusion of Europe, but it was also necessarily innovative. This article explores the way in which Purchas leads his reader from one faith into copious different faiths in a journey underpinned by the expectation of apocalyptic resolution and reunification. Of particular prominence are his struggles with the relative value of non-Christian religions and their vexed incorporation into a narrative of Anglican universalism.