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Puritanism. The Age of Faith 1600s-1750s. Where and When?. Where : New England, in the Massachusetts Bay Colony When: about 1650-about 1750 Also called: Pilgrims—they believed they were on a journey to a holy place Why? To build a secular society patterned after God’s word (New Test.).

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puritanism

Puritanism

The Age of Faith

1600s-1750s

where and when
Where and When?

Where: New England, in the Massachusetts Bay Colony

When: about 1650-about 1750

Also called: Pilgrims—they believed they were on a journey to a holy place

Why? To build a secular society patterned after God’s word (New Test.)

puritans beliefs and values
Puritans: Beliefs and Values

#1—Predestination

All events are foreseen and foreordained by God

#2—Election

God chooses who is saved and who is damned. Nagging fear—Am I saved?

puritans beliefs and values1
Puritans: Beliefs and Values

#3—Education

Publicly supported schools:

Harvard founded in 1636 to train ministers

Education necessary so people can oppose Satan.

1770: 70% literacy rate in New England!

beliefs and values
Beliefs and Values

#4—Intolerance

Dissenters must be opposed and driven out

--persecution and expulsion of Anne Hutchinson (1638), Roger Williams (1638)

puritans beliefs and values2
Puritans: Beliefs and Values

Overall…

Man is fallen and inherently evil

Our futures are already destined—all we can do is pray for salvation

Those who do not agree and conform must be expelled or destroyed

puritan politics
Puritan Politics

Voting is restricted to Church members only

Blurring of the line between political and religious authority—essentially, a theocracy

puritan style and form
Puritan: style and form

In religion, Puritans reject all adornments; the same is true in their literature.

Plain style: strong, simple, logical

Thus, explanations of the Scriptures are clear to all people.

the bible and puritan literature
The Bible and Puritan Literature
  • Foundation of all Puritan literature

Focus on Inner Events and Outer Events

Inner Events: feelings, seen as stages on the road to salvation

Outer events: external events (like travels), seen as containing messages from God

forms
Forms
  • Thus, diaries, histories, and sermons are the most common form of Puritan literature

(interpreting inner and outer events as religious experiences)

lasting puritan contributions
Lasting Puritan Contributions
  • Self-government and community responsibility (democracy within theocracy)
  • Importance of education
  • Hard work and thrift demanded of all
  • High moral standards
prominent writers
Prominent Writers
  • Edward Taylor: finding spiritual truth in the natural world “Upon a Spider Catching a Fly”
  • Anne Bradstreet: reconciling love for earthly things with the conviction that the ultimate value in everything is spiritual. “Some Verses Upon the Burning of my House”
prominent writers cont
Prominent Writers cont.
  • Jonathan Edwards: Sermons (extremist) “Sinner in the Hands of an Angry God”
  • William Bradford: “Of Plymouth Plantation”