The puritans
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The Puritans. Separatists Held irreconcilable differences with the Church of England; they thought the church was corrupt and that they must distance themselves from it Were persecuted under various monarchies in England Later, came to found the Plymouth Colony in America in 1620.

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The Puritans

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The puritans

The Puritans


Two type of puritans

Separatists

Held irreconcilable differences with the Church of England; they thought the church was corrupt and that they must distance themselves from it

Were persecuted under various monarchies in England

Later, came to found the Plymouth Colony in America in 1620

Non-Separatists

Held less extreme views of the Church of England

Believed in church reform rather than an overthrow of the church

Came to America in 1630 and founded the Massachusetts Bay Colony

This group referred to as Pilgrims

Two type of Puritans


Core beliefs

Core Beliefs

Doctrine of Election / Predestination:

  • Man is innately sinful; original sin means that we are incapable of any depravity

  • Only those who are chosen by God (the elect) are saved; salvation is not based on your beliefs or good works

  • The grace of Christ allows the chosen the strength to follow the will of God

  • The chosen will follow the path of righteousness


The puritans

No one knew who was or was not saved.

Puritans believed that you must have a conversion experience in order to be accepted by God.

God’s grace was given to the chosen, and this was demonstrated through one’s behavior.

Even though they did not believe good works helped one get into heaven, they believed that living a godly life was evidence of being chosen.


As a result of their belief in predestination puritans

As a result of their belief in predestination, Puritans:

  • Were always looking for signs

  • Scrutinized daily events

  • Thought there was always a reason for everything

  • Felt that God’s hand was in everything, no matter how insignificant


Puritan beliefs values

Puritan Beliefs & Values

  • Puritans believed in a literal interpretation of the Bible

  • They wanted to keep things simple so that they could concentrate on God

  • They wanted to cleanse the religion of corrupt sinful practices, elaborate ceremonies, and decorations

  • There is a constant struggle between the forces of God and Satan

  • God rewards the good and punishes the wicked

  • Membership in churches was limited to the “visibly godly”


Education work ethic

Education & Work Ethic

  • They believed in living a virtuous, self-examined life

  • They believed in strict discipline and had a strong work ethic

  • They felt that qualities that led to economic success were virtuous


The puritans

They valued education

  • Harvard was founded in 1636 to train ministers

  • Children were not allowed to play games; boys were taught to go hunting and fishing, while girls were taught how to run a household

  • Women were considered less capable intellectually, physically, theologically, and morally (Eve was the first sinner)


The puritans

Literature and Writing

They did not write for pleasure or entertainment.

The purpose of writing was to be:

  • Instructive

  • Reflective—think through problems and feelings

  • Reinforce authority of:

    • Bible

    • Church


Types of texts

Types of Texts

  • Sermons and other religious documents

  • Diaries and journals

  • Historical documents

  • Letters

  • Poetry (inspired by religious beliefs)

  • Captive narratives


Content topic

Content /topic

  • Christian utopia

  • Relationship with God

  • Histories

  • Puritan beliefs– reflections on:

    • Community

    • Original sin

    • Hard work


Plain style

Plain Style

  • Plain Style: a mode of expression characterized by its clarity, accessibility, straightforwardness, simplicity, and lack of ornamentation.

  • Rejecting ornamental flourishes and superfluous decoration as sinful vanity, plain stylists worked to glorify God in their expressions rather than to show off their own artistry or claim any renown for themselves.


Plain style1

Plain Style

  • Does not use the features common to rhetoric of the day– the types of language and devices that were popular with European writers

    • So, Plain style does not make much use of

      • Metaphor“learned” quotations

      • Allusion“decorative” words

    • Most texts, especially sermons, open with a main point, provide clear reasons and close with applications to life


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