Calvinism Puritanism broadly refers to a diverse religious reform movement in Britain committed to the continental Reformed tradition. They believed that all of their beliefs should be based on the Biblewhich they considered to be divinely inspired. As sinners, every person deserved damnation. Therefore, being a Christian could never be reduced to simple "intellectual acknowledgment" of the truth of Christianity.
You can do that by emphasizing one simple fact—namely, that many men and women, in both Europe and America the Puritans among themwholeheartedly embraced the belief in predestination. To prod them into thinking along these lines, you might talk a bit about the sweeping changes and uncertainties overtaking the lives of most western Europeans in the early modern period ca.
It was during this era that the beginnings of modern capitalism—both the growth of trade and the commercialization of agriculture—were yielding handsome profits for merchants and large landowners, but creating inflation and unemployment that produced unprecedented misery for many more people.
The rich were getting richer, and the poor much poorer: To add to the sense of disruption and disarray, the Protestant Reformation of the sixteenth century had ruptured the unity of late medieval Christendom, spawning bloody religious wars that led to lasting tensions between Catholics and Protestants.
All of these momentous changes were profoundly unsettling to ordinary men and women, heightening their need for social order, intellectual and moral certainty, and spiritual consolation.
The Bay Psalm Book, printed in Boston, For many, the doctrine of predestination answered these pressing inner needs. Its power to comfort and reassure troubled souls arose from its wider message that, beyond preordaining the eternal fates of men and women, God had a plan for all of human history—that every event in the lives of individuals and nations somehow tended toward an ultimate triumph of good over evil, order over disorder, Christ over Satan.
In other words, Calvin and his many followers among groups like the Puritans saw human history as an unfolding cosmic drama in which every person had a predestined role to play. That confidence made people like the Puritans anything but passive or despairing.
On the contrary, they were an extraordinarily energetic, activist lot, constantly striving to reshape both society and government to accord with what they believed to be the will of God as set forth in the Bible.
Gravestone of Phebe Gorham, d. Henceforth my Soul in sweetest Union join The two supports of human happiness, Which some erroneous think can never meet, True Taste of Life, and constant thought of DeathThey strove, too, to lead godly and disciplined lives—but not because they hoped that such righteous behavior would earn them salvation.
Instead they believed that their very ability to master their evil inclinations provided some evidence that they ranked among the elect of saints. And nothing was more important to early modern men and women than gaining greater reassurance of salvation.
Historians Debate John Eliot, ca. Miller was the first scholar to appreciate the importance of Puritanism as a complex set of ideas, a magisterial theology that set forth a rich, compelling depiction of the relationship between God and humankind. Thomas Smith, Self-Portrait, ca.
Smith, a mariner, painter, and sources indicate a Puritan, included this inscription on the white sheet under the skull: I am not sorye. Many of the historians who followed Miller in the s and s concluded that the vitality and integrity of Puritanism as a cultural force was sapped and finally spent by broader social and intellectual challenges.
Indeed, they contend that the Puritan emphasis on social hierarchy and communal obligation, as well as its ascetic piety and intolerance of competing faiths, actually contained the force of capitalist expansion within New England and limited the extent to which the participation in a market economy and the quest for profit could reshape social relations and values.
To sample this revisionist scholarship, see Stephen Innes, Creating the Commonwealth .
Puritan church with pulpit, pews, and, significantly, no altar. But subsequent research has now left little doubt that Puritan theology compelled the loyalties of early New Englanders of all classes and that even the humblest farmers and fisherfolk were often well versed in the basic doctrines pertaining to predestination and conversion.
What they heard from their preachers, they both understood and generally accepted as the essence of true Christian faith. If you want to know more about other topics, please read under Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries: She holds a Ph.
Heyrman is the author of Commerce and Culture:The Puritans were very dedicated to their religious beliefs, and to the Puritans witchcraft was considered both a sin and a crime. The main reason why the witch trials occurred was because the Puritans goal in life was to purify the organization of their church.
The Puritans based their beliefs on theocracy, or the belief that the colony should be governed by divine guidance. They believed the church was to be the center of their lives. They believed the church was to be the center of their lives.
Enjoy and understand your King James Bible far better. The Founders' Faith - George Washington, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, John Jay, religion, faith, beliefs, Thomas Jefferson. Fifty Orwell Essays, by George Orwell, free ebook.
Efforts to Christianize the native peoples of North America was an essential part of early Spanish and French colonial efforts. The English, however, had been slower to formalize efforts to spread the faith, but in , the Massachusetts General Court passed a law designed to encourage such activities.