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Introduction to Puritanism
Transcript of Introduction to Puritanism
Puritanism 1650-1750 Who are the Puritan
People? Puritans Set Sail Settling in America Religious Dissent Anne Bradstreet Puritan Belief Jonathan Edwards The Puritans were English Protestants who
believed that the reforms of the Church of England did not go far enough. In 1630, the Puritans set sail for America Arriving in New England, the Puritans established the Massachusetts Bay Colony
in a town they named Boston The Puritans were strict Calvinists, or followers of the reformer John Calvin.
Calvin taught that God was all-powerful and completely sovereign.
Human beings were depraved sinners. 1612-1672 1703-1758 Because the king of England was head of both church and state, the Puritans' opposition to religious authority meant they also defied the civil authority of the state. They believed they were chosen by God
to fulfill a special role in human history:
to establish a new, pure Christian commonwealth. Onboard the flagship Arbella, their leader John Winthrop reminded them of their duties and obligations under the covenant. If they honored their obligations to God, they would be blessed; if they failed, they would be punished. God had chosen a few people, "the elect," for salvation.
The rest of humanity was condemned to eternal damnation.
But no one really knew if he or she was saved or damned; Puritans lived in a constant state of spiritual anxiety, searching for signs of God's favor or anger. Faith, not works, was the key to salvation. Two members of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Roger Williams and Anne Hutchinson, challenged the religious authority of the Puritan commonwealth and threatened to destroy Winthrop's vision of "a city upon a hill." The colony survived, but over time its religious fervor diminished. In 1679, a Puritan synod met to deliberate the causes of widespread spiritual malaise. Blame was assigned to an increase in swearing; a tendency to sleep at sermons; the spread of sex and alcohol, especially in taverns, where women were known to bare their arms and, upon occasion, even their breasts; and, most telling, the marked increase in lying and lawsuits. 1st resident of the American colonies to have her writing published.
She had the advantage of an education, unusual for a women of her time.
Despite raising eight children and having ill health, she found time to continue writing poetry in the New World. Born in East Windsor, Connecticut.
Admitted to Yale College at the age of 13
Coming from a line of noteworthy ministers, Edwards was determined to carry on his family's tradition.
Edwards tried to make religion so moving and real that it was almost a physical experience.
He became a powerful force in The Great Awakening movement after his sermon "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God"