Puritanism: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
Francis J. Bremer
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Written by a leading expert on the Puritans, this brief, informative volume offers a wealth of background on this key religious movement. This book traces the shaping, triumph, and decline of the Puritan world, while also examining the role of religion in the shaping of American society and the role of the Puritan legacy in American history. Francis J. Bremer discusses the rise of Puritanism in the English Reformation, the struggle of the reformers to purge what they viewed as the corruptions of Roman Catholicism from the Elizabethan church, and the struggle with the Stuart monarchs that led to a brief Puritan triumph under Oliver Cromwell. It also examines the effort of Puritans who left England to establish a godly kingdom in America. Bremer examines puritan theology, views on family and community, their beliefs about the proper relationship between religion and public life, the limits of toleration, the balance between individual rights and one's obligation to others, and the extent to which public character should be shaped by private religious belief.
About the Series: Combining authority with wit, accessibility, and style, Very Short Introductions offer an introduction to some of life's most interesting topics. Written by experts for the newcomer, they demonstrate the finest contemporary thinking about the central problems and issues in hundreds of key topics, from philosophy to Freud, quantum theory to Islam.
guard against those urges. A puritan was to dedicate himself to helping others, especially fellow saints. At the end of the day he was to reﬂect on his behavior, asking himself how well he had fulﬁlled his daily duties. Directions for Daily Living 1. That we keep a narrow watch over our hearts, words, and deeds continually. 3. That once in the day at the least, private prayer and meditation (if it may) be used. 5. That our family be with diligence and regard, instructed, watched over and
doing so they were not being original but drawing on a medieval heritage that many other Englishmen adhered to, particularly the tradition of Christian Republicanism that was inﬂuential in Elizabethan times. Perimeter fences In deﬁning itself, every society determines a set of core values, which all citizens are expected to abide by. In doing so its members establish what one scholar has called a perimeter fence, the boundary between people and ideas that are acceptable and those that threaten
Charles. Few puritans went as far as the Fifth Monarchists, but the attempt to bring themselves closer to the thousand-year rule of the saints did inﬂuence how puritans ordered their societies and their churches. The Restoration in 1660 changed the nature of English millennial writing but did not put an end to such speculation. 77 Puritans and the larger society Some New Englanders saw their enterprise as the creation of a New Jerusalem, though not the physical center of the millennial kingdom.
make provision for a new translation of the Bible—which became known as the Authorized Version, or the King James Bible. During the reign of Queen Elizabeth the distinction between the establishment and puritan reformers was not always clear since many bishops and key members of the Queen’s Privy Council were sympathetic to further reforms in the church. Under James I and 10 A Puritan in England In the village where I lived the reader read the Common Prayer brieﬂy, and the rest of the day even
emigrated as deserters who were willing to abandon their ﬂocks and give up the ﬁght for reform. Many ministers saw no option, however. They had been willing to make compromises to stay and nourish their ﬂocks in earlier years but now found it increasingly 17 Puritan experiments The Earl of Warwick and other puritans had been involved in overseas colonizing ventures such as the Virginia Company, but their early efforts were driven by economic rather than religious concerns. That soon began to