Spiritual autobiography is a non-fictional form which rose to prominence in seventeenth-century England, although its roots can be traced as far back as such works of the early Christian tradition as St. Augustine’s Confessions. The form’s basic concern is to trace the progress of an individual believer from a state of sin to a state of grace, where the conviction takes hold that salvation has been guaranteed by God. Given the concentration on the individual, the form appealed most to Protestants, in particular the more militant sectarian movements (Baptists, Quakers, etc.) who broke away from the Church of England over the course of the seventeenth century - a period of marked religious division in English history. …
Sim, Stuart. "Spiritual Autobiography". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 01 January 2001; last revised 30 November -1.
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=1377, accessed 25 April 2015.]