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					      The Puritans

     Who were the Puritans?
   Puritans were a branch of the Protestant
   Their movement began in the 16th and 17th
   Although they preferred to be called “the
    godly,” they were given the name
    “Puritans” for their struggle to reform or
    purify the Church of England
       Two Types of Puritans:
              Separatists                         Non-Separatists
   Held irreconcilable differences      Held less extreme views of the
    with the Church of England;           Church of England
    they thought the church was          Believed in church reform
    corrupt and that they must            rather than an overthrow of
    distance themselves from i            the church
   Were persecuted under various        Came to America in 1630 and
    monarchies in England                 founded the Massachusetts
   First fled from England to            Bay Colony
   Later, came to found the
    Plymouth Colony in America
    in 1620
          Doctrine of Election /
   Man is innately sinful;
    original sin means that
    we are incapable of any
   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
Predestination continued…
              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 grace was
              demonstrated through one’s
              behavior. Puritans would,
              therefore, reflect upon
              themselves (self-examination)
              for signs of this grace. So, 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:
   Were always looking for
   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:
   Puritans believed in a literal interpretation of the Bible
   They believed in explicit readings of the Bible, as
    opposed to church doctrines
   They did not believe in excess worship; they wanted no
    rituals, adornments, no stained glass, no cushioned
    pews, no singing, and no music
   They wanted to keep things simple so that they could
    concentrate on God
   There is a constant struggle between the forces of God
    and Satan
   God rewards the good and punishes the wicked
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
               They valued education
               Harvard was founded in 1636 to train
               They wanted their children to get far
                away from the evils of England
               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)
               Literature for pleasure was highly
Puritan Literature & Writings:
   They did not write for pleasure or entertainment. One
    reason was the fact that they were struggling to built
    their settlement. Another reason was the fact that they
    considered works of fiction frivolous and possibly
   Types of texts:
    - historical documents: preserving their history and
    offering justifications to relieve the guilt they felt over
    leaving relatives behind in England
    - personal journals: as tools for self-reflection/
    examination and as a way to look for signs of salvation
    - poetry, but highly inspired by religious beliefs
    - religious tracts
         Puritan Plain Style:
   Plain Style: a mode of expression characterized
    by its clarity, accessibility, straightforwardness,
    simplicity, and lack of ornamentation. In early
    America, the plain style aesthetic had broad
    cultural relevance, shaping the language of prose
    and poetry, the design of furniture and
    architecture, painting and other visual arts.
    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. This aesthetic appealed to both
    Puritans and Quakers.