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PURITANISM. The birth and development of a new religious movement. Origins and development.
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PURITANISM The birth and development of a new religious movement
Origins and development • Puritanism is a protestant movement within Church of England,which developed during XVI-XVII century.It was founded by some Marian after the accession of Elisabeth I,especially influenced by Calvinism • The movement was created against corruption of Catholic Church, especially its «superstitious symbles» as statues,stained-glass windows and sacerdotal vestment
It developed especially amoung the Middle Class and people anti-royalists • The moment of their utmost supremacy was when Puritans came to power (1642) as a result of the English Civil War
Puritans after the Civil war • After the won of the Civil War (in 1642) by round-heads (anti-royalists), puritanism became a powerful force • Oliver Cromwell,a puritan, founded the Commonwealth (name based on the idea of puritanism, which believed in common richness) bringing moral and religious changes in England Oliver Cromwell
After Cromwell’s death (in1958) the monarchy was restored and Puritans lose their power • the period of Great Persecution of Puritans began and most of them took refuge in New England (USA) The «Mayflower», ship used by Puritans to escape persecutions
Movement’s thoughts • The main aim was to purify the church,especially morally • Desire to reach salvation • Consideration of the Bible as God’s true law • Belief in the Parable of the Talents • Puritans predicted austerity and they were against every kind of entertainment (reason why each theater was closed in 1642), because it was considered immoral The Bible
Parable of the Talents The Parable of Talents is one of the well known parables of Jesus The main points are: • God gives talents to people • Everybody has to bear them • Who is not able to bear talents will commit a sin as poor people, who cannot exploit them • Who is able to produce goods and wealth will advance in his/her social condition and he/she will reach God’s benediction (reason why the Middle Class was mainly Puritan)
John Milton (1608-1674) • The most famous puritan poet and the best known poet only after Shakespeare of English literature • Supporter of freedom and republicanism • He wrote poetry in Latin, Italian and English (he had a Classic education) • His most important works are Areopagitica and Paradise Lost John Milton
Paradise lost (1667) • Epic poem in blank verse with Biblical references (e.g. Adam and Eve) • It was about fall of man,because of his desire to have knowledge • The main character is an hero, Satan, who disobeyed the God, because he wanted to be more powerful than him • The real aim is to celebrate God by making references to deeds of the hero (as each epic poem)
Puritanism today • As the result of persecution,Puritans left England and they extablished especially in the New World (USA) • Puritanism,based on increase of wealth, layed the foundations of consumerism in Usa, here’s why America became one of the most important world power.