A brief overview of the puritan legacy in

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  • 1. The Puritans history in England begins when King Henry VIII wants to divorce hiswife, Catherine of Aragon (who as of yet had not born him a male heir to thethrone, in order to marry Anne Boylen.  In order to get this divorce, he needs anannulment from the Pope, who happens to be Catherines cousin; needles tosay, the Pope does not grant him the divorce, so Henry decides to break fromPapal authority and creates the Church of England (Anglicans) of which he isthe leader. (Henry moves through many other wives in the process of havingone boy, who dies young.)
  • 2. Puritans are a radical offshoot of the Protestants (Anglicans) in England. They believe that too much Catholic corruption remains in the Church. Theydesire ministers to preach purer and more energetic gospels in churchesstripped of statues, tapestry, and color. Puritans believe that people havebeen debilitated by original sin and place a special emphasis onconversion. To become a true or genuine believer would normally entail anintense period of introspection and repentance followed by the experienceof liberating faith. Theconverted individual would then have to standup and share their conversion experience with thecongregation in order to take communion and beconsidered a member of the congregation.
  • 3.  humans exist for the glory of God the bible is the sole expression of Gods will predestination: John Calvins doctrine that God has already decided who willachieve salvation and who will not before the individual is born. the elect or saints cannot take salvation for granted. the devout will search their souls with frequently and with great rigor for signsof grace. each individual is depraved because of original sin good is accomplished only through continual hard work and self-discipline:"The Puritan Work Ethic"
  • 4. The first Puritans who came to Massachusetts were actually Pilgrims, an evenmore radical offshoot of the Puritans who decided that the Church of Englandwas to corrupt to be saved, so they wanted to separate from the Church andstart all over again. The Pilgrims sailed in the Mayflower from Septemberthrough November 1620 to arrive at Cape Cod at the onset of winter. Theysigned a compact between believers and non-believer aboard the Mayflower,pledging to share responsibility and help one another in times of need; thisfirst legal document in the Massachusetts Colony is known as the MayflowerCompact. The first winter, known as the starving time, saw half of the originalsettlers die. The Pilgrims stern manner and incredible work ethic help themto survive, however, as by the end of the 1630s, over 20,000 people hadcome to the colony.
  • 5. The PlymouTh ColonyFlagship Mayflower arrives – 1620Leader - William BradfordSettlers known as Pilgrims and Separatists"The Mayflower Compact" provides forsocial, religious, and economic freedom,while still maintaining ties to Great Britain.The massaChuseTTs Bay ColonyFlagship Arbella arrives – 1630Leader - John WinthropSettlers are mostly Puritans or CongregationalPuritans"The Arbella Covenant" clearly establishesa religious and theocratic settlement,free of ties to Great Britain.
  • 6. Puritans made a lasting impact on American attitudes: their ideals ofhard work, frugality, self-improvement, and self-reliance are stillregarded as basic American virtues.Do you believe these ideals arepresented in North American societyup to the present days?How much has it changed? In whataspects has it changed?Do you know what WASP is?
  • 7. 1. Total DepravityTotal Depravity - through Adam and Eves fall, every person is born sinful -concept of Original Sin.2. Unconditional ElectionUnconditional Election - God "saves" those he wishes - only a few areselected for salvation - concept of predestination.3. Limited AtonementLimited Atonement - Jesus died for the chosen only, not for everyone.4. Irresistible GraceIrresistible Grace - Gods grace is freely given, it cannot be earned ordenied. Grace is defined as the saving and transfiguring power of God.5. Perseverance of the "saints"Perseverance of the "saints" - those elected by God have full power tointerpret the will of God, and to live uprightly. If anyone rejects grace afterfeeling its power in his life, he will be going against the will of God - somethingimpossible in Puritanism.
  • 8. Typology: The belief that Gods intentions are present in human action and in naturalphenomenon. Failure to understand these intentions are human limitations. Puritansbelieved in cyclical or repetitive history; they use "types" - Moses prefigures Jesus, Jonahspatience is reflected in Jesus ordeal on the cross, and Moses journey out of Egypt isplayed out in the Pilgrims crossing of the Atlantic. Gods wrath and reward are also presentin natural phenomena like flooding, bountiful harvest, the invasion of locusts, and thelightening striking a home.Manifest Destiny: The concept of manifest destiny is as old as the first New Englandsettlements. Without using the words, John Winthrop articulated the concept in his famoussermon, the Arbella Covenant (1630), when he said: " ... for we must consider that we shallbe as a city upon a hill, the eyes of all people are upon us; ..." Winthrop exhorts his listenersto carry on Gods mission and to set a shining example for the rest of the world. From thisbeginning, the concept has had religious, social, economic, and political consequences.The words manifest destiny were first used by editor John L. OSullivan in 1845.Backsliding: The belief that "saved" believers, those with visible signs of grace, can fallinto temptation and become sinners. To prevent this, believers were expected not tobecome smug, do constant soul-searching, be introspective, and pray constantly. Satanwas particularly interested in snaring such believers.
  • 9. The Function of Puritan Writers1. To transform a mysterious God - mysterious because he is separatefrom the world.2. To make him more relevant to the universe.3. To glorify God.The Style of Puritan Writing1. Protestant - against ornateness; reverence for the Bible.2. Purposiveness - there was a purpose to Puritan writing - described inPart II above.3. Puritan writing reflected the character and scope of the reading public,which was literate and well-grounded in religion.
  • 10. Reasons for Puritan Literary Dominance over the Virginians1. Puritans were basically middle class and fairly well-educated.2. Virginians were tradesmen and separated from English writing.3. Puritans were children of the covenant; gave them a drive and a purpose towrite.Common Themes in Early Puritan Writing1. Idealism - both religious and political.2. Pragmaticism - practicality and purposiveness.
  • 11. Forces Undermining Puritanism1. A persons natural desire to do good - this works against predestination.2. Dislike of a "closed" life.3. Resentment of the power of the few over many.4. Change in economic conditions - growth of fishery, farms, etc.5. Presence of the leaders of dissent - Anne Hutchinson, Roger Williams.6. The presence of the frontier - concept of self-reliance, individualism, andoptimism.7. Change in political conditions - Massachusetts became a Crown colony.8. Theocracy suffered from a lack of flexibility.9. Growth of rationality - use of the mind to know God - less dependence onthe Bible.10. Cosmopolitanism of the new immigrants.
  • 12. Visible Signs of Puritan Decay1. Visible decay of godliness.2. Manifestations of pride - especially among the new rich.3. Presence of "heretics" - Quakers and Anabaptists.4. Violations of the Sabbath and swearing and sleeping during sermons.5. Decay in family government.6. People full of contention - rise in lawsuits and lawyers.7. Sins of sex and alcohol on the increase.8. Decay in business morality - lying, laborers underpaid, etc.9. No disposition to reform.10. Lacking in social behavior.
  • 13. Some Aspects of the Puritan Legacy:each has positive and negative implicationsa.The need for moral justification for private, public, and governmentalacts.b. The Questing for Freedom - personal, political, economic, and social.c. The Puritan work ethic.d. Elegiac verse - morbid fascination with death.e. The city upon the hill - concept of manifest destiny.