Seventeenth and eighteenth century voices

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Seventeenth and eighteenth century voices

  1. 1. Puritanism, England and American Culture
  2. 2. <ul><li>Puritanism had an enormous influence on American letters and characters, even to this day. </li></ul><ul><li>We could say that the Puritans created the American culture that exists today. </li></ul>
  3. 3. A Brief Background <ul><li>During the reign of Henry VIII in England, there was a moving away from the Catholic Church. </li></ul><ul><li>Henry VIII himself declared himself divorced from his first wife, Katharine of Aragon, when the Pope refused to annul the marriage. </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Henry VIII thus became the head of his own Church of England, which resembled the Catholic church in terms of its rituals and hierarchy. </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>At issue for dissenters and Protestant separatists was (1) church hierarch and governance: </li></ul><ul><li>Each church or congregation should be “its own law, its own country.” </li></ul><ul><li>This was seen by Henry and his advisors as volatile, individualistic, fracturing. </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>Also at issue (2) is Catholic symbolism and ritual. </li></ul><ul><li>Separatists and dissenters wanted to return to the practices of the ‘primitive’ church. </li></ul><ul><li>The Puritans, specifically, wanted to ‘purify’ the Church of England by ridding it of all rites except baptism and communion. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Puritan Doctrines <ul><li>Doctrine of Means: Salvation is a personal matter between oneself and God, not from organized prayer. </li></ul><ul><li>Organized prayer and the Bible are a means of or language for this personal experience. </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>Doctrine of Will : Divine will alone allows the ‘elect’ to enter Heaven because they are predestined , born into a state of ‘grace.’ </li></ul><ul><li>The problem with this doctrine is, there’s no proof that one is one of the elect until after death. </li></ul><ul><li>It was easy, therefore, for individuals to lose faith. </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>Doctrine of Works : One could do good works, good deeds to earn one’s place in Heaven. </li></ul><ul><li>This doctrine, though directly in contradiction with the Doctrine of Will, attempts to resolve issues of faith and doubt, as well as providing an idea of social conduct and morality. </li></ul><ul><li>This doctrine becomes the basis for the “Protestant Work Ethic.” </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>The Puritans were seen as divisive threats to the monarch, and were thus persecuted in England, where their civil rights were extremely limited in an attempt to stamp them out. </li></ul><ul><li>Some Puritans, therefore, chose to leave England for America. </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>Puritans saw America as the land of promise, the “New Jerusalem,” where they could create a heaven on earth, a fundamental underpinning of how we see ourselves today. </li></ul>

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