2 Who were the Puritans? Puritans were a branch of the Protestant church Their movement began in the 16th and 17th centuriesAlthough they preferred to be called “the godly,” they were given the name “Puritans” for their struggle to reform or purify the Church of England
3 Two Types of Puritans: Separatists Held irreconcilable differences with the Church of England; they thought the church was corrupt and that they must distance themselves from iWere persecuted under various monarchies in EnglandFirst fled from England to HollandLater, came to found the Plymouth Colony in America in 1620Non-SeparatistsHeld less extreme views of the Church of EnglandBelieved in church reform rather than an overthrow of the churchCame to America in 1630 and founded the Massachusetts Bay Colony
4 Doctrine of Election / Predestination: Man is innately sinful; original sin means that we are incapable of any depravityOnly those who are chosen by God (the elect) are saved; salvation is not based on your beliefs or good worksThe grace of Christ allows the chosen the strength to follow the will of GodThe chosen will follow the path of righteousness
5 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.
6 As a result of their belief in predestination, Puritans: Were always looking for signsScrutinized daily eventsThought there was always a reason for everythingFelt that God’s hand was in everything, no matter how insignificant
7 Puritan Beliefs & Values: Puritans believed in a literal interpretation of the BibleThey believed in explicit readings of the Bible, as opposed to church doctrinesThey did not believe in excess worship; they wanted no rituals, adornments, no stained glass, no cushioned pews, no singing, and no musicThey wanted to keep things simple so that they could concentrate on GodThere is a constant struggle between the forces of God and SatanGod rewards the good and punishes the wicked
8 Education & Work Ethic: They believed in living a virtuous, self-examined lifeThey believed in strict discipline and had a strong work ethicThey felt that qualities that led to economic success were virtuousThey valued educationHarvard was founded in 1636 to train ministersThey wanted their children to get far away from the evils of EnglandChildren were not allowed to play games; boys were taught to go hunting and fishing, while girls were taught how to run a householdWomen were considered less capable intellectually, physically, theologically, and morally (Eve was the first sinner)Literature for pleasure was highly censored
9 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 immoral.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
10 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.