Puritans in American Religious History

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These 43 slides are an outline for my lecture presentation on the role of the Puritans in American Religious History.

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Puritans in American Religious History

  1. 1. Puritan VisionPuritan Vision and Struggle in New Englandand Struggle in New England (Errand into the Wilderness)(Errand into the Wilderness)
  2. 2. Who were the Puritans?Who were the Puritans? H. L. Mencken (1880-1956), journalist, freethinker,H. L. Mencken (1880-1956), journalist, freethinker, social critic, in "On Being an American" calledsocial critic, in "On Being an American" called the United States "... incomparably the bestthe United States "... incomparably the best show on Earth….”show on Earth….” Also contains his famous quote describingAlso contains his famous quote describing PuritanismPuritanism asas "the haunting fear that someone,"the haunting fear that someone, somewhere, might be happy."somewhere, might be happy." Common cultural conceptions, but how true areCommon cultural conceptions, but how true are they??they??
  3. 3. Puritan Vision and StrugglePuritan Vision and Struggle Part I:Part I: Theological BackgroundTheological Background Part II:Part II: The Story and the PlayersThe Story and the Players Part III:Part III: The Puritans Legacy in AmericanThe Puritans Legacy in American Religious HistoryReligious History
  4. 4. Part I: BackgroundPart I: Background  Conditions in EnglandConditions in England  Jean Calvin and CalvinismJean Calvin and Calvinism (Reform Theology)(Reform Theology)  Politics in EnglandPolitics in England
  5. 5. Conditions in EnglandConditions in England  Persecution under James IPersecution under James I  Charles I and Civil WarCharles I and Civil War  Oliver CromwellOliver Cromwell  Restoration under Charles IIRestoration under Charles II
  6. 6. Jean Calvin’s TheologyJean Calvin’s Theology TULIP:TULIP: – Total DepravityTotal Depravity – Unconditional ElectionUnconditional Election – Limited AtonementLimited Atonement – Irresistible GraceIrresistible Grace – Perseverance of the SaintsPerseverance of the Saints Sovereignty of God, Predestination, VocationSovereignty of God, Predestination, Vocation Max Weber’sMax Weber’s Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of CapitalismProtestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (1920)(1920)
  7. 7. Puritans, Precisemen,Puritans, Precisemen, PrecisionistsPrecisionists  ““Puritan” originally used to describe a 3rd c. CEPuritan” originally used to describe a 3rd c. CE sect of heretics.sect of heretics.  Came to be used as pejorative term(s) for “lowCame to be used as pejorative term(s) for “low church” Anglicans who favored further reform ofchurch” Anglicans who favored further reform of the Church of England after Henry VIII andthe Church of England after Henry VIII and Elizabeth I.Elizabeth I.  They referred to themselves as “the godly,” “theThey referred to themselves as “the godly,” “the saintly,” or followers of “true religion.”saintly,” or followers of “true religion.”
  8. 8. Three Types of PuritansThree Types of Puritans 1.1. PuritansPuritans who want to purify but remain inwho want to purify but remain in the Church of England.the Church of England. 2.2. PresbyteriansPresbyterians who want to substitutewho want to substitute Presbyterian form of church governmentPresbyterian form of church government for the Episcopalian.for the Episcopalian. 3.3. IndependentsIndependents who want to purify andwho want to purify and have only independent small churches.have only independent small churches. - Separatists like Pilgrims at PlymouthSeparatists like Pilgrims at Plymouth - Non-Separatists like Puritans of MassachusettsNon-Separatists like Puritans of Massachusetts
  9. 9. Independents’ DilemmaIndependents’ Dilemma • Francis Mason (1605): “Then see, I beseech you, intoFrancis Mason (1605): “Then see, I beseech you, into what perplexities you cast yourselves. If you shouldwhat perplexities you cast yourselves. If you should conforme, you tell us that you should sinne, because it isconforme, you tell us that you should sinne, because it is against your conscience; and if you doe not conforme,against your conscience; and if you doe not conforme, wee must tell you that you sinne, because it iswee must tell you that you sinne, because it is unjustifieable disobedience.”unjustifieable disobedience.” • Giles Widdowes (1630): “The Puritan tenet is, that KingsGiles Widdowes (1630): “The Puritan tenet is, that Kings must bee subject to the Puritan Presbyters…Thus themust bee subject to the Puritan Presbyters…Thus the oaths of Superacie, and allegiance are broken. Thisoaths of Superacie, and allegiance are broken. This Puritan is an Arch-traitor.”Puritan is an Arch-traitor.” • Samuel Brooke (1630): “Puritanism is the root of allSamuel Brooke (1630): “Puritanism is the root of all rebellion and disobedient intractablenesse, and schism,rebellion and disobedient intractablenesse, and schism, and sauciness in the country.”and sauciness in the country.”
  10. 10. Motivations for ExodusMotivations for Exodus  ““Popish” Church of EnglandPopish” Church of England – Book of Common PrayerBook of Common Prayer – Hierarchies of bishops and King.Hierarchies of bishops and King.  The difficulties with James and Charles and lossThe difficulties with James and Charles and loss of Parliament (where they had support)of Parliament (where they had support)  Puritan clergy concerned with the “contagion ofPuritan clergy concerned with the “contagion of wickedness” and its effect on the young peoplewickedness” and its effect on the young people  The appeal of creating a Christian nation as anThe appeal of creating a Christian nation as an example/witness for the world - this was theirexample/witness for the world - this was their Errand (into the wilderness).Errand (into the wilderness). – Not motivated by economics or social equalityNot motivated by economics or social equality
  11. 11. Part II: Story and PlayersPart II: Story and Players  Getting ThereGetting There  John WinthropJohn Winthrop  Roger WilliamsRoger Williams  Anne Hutchinson and John CottonAnne Hutchinson and John Cotton  IndiansIndians  Declension and WitchcraftDeclension and Witchcraft  Jonathan Edwards and the GreatJonathan Edwards and the Great AwakeningAwakening
  12. 12. Getting ThereGetting There Pilgrims (Separatists) arrive first:Pilgrims (Separatists) arrive first:  1607: a congregation from Nottingham1607: a congregation from Nottingham goes to Holland. They become thegoes to Holland. They become the Pilgrims. 1620: Mayflower sets out withPilgrims. 1620: Mayflower sets out with 102 people for N. Virginia and land at102 people for N. Virginia and land at Plymouth Rock. William BradfordPlymouth Rock. William Bradford (1590-1657) is governor for 30 years.(1590-1657) is governor for 30 years.  12 of 26 men died; 18 of 21 women12 of 26 men died; 18 of 21 women died in the first Winter. Thanksgivingdied in the first Winter. Thanksgiving for seeing the first harvest in 1621for seeing the first harvest in 1621 (Squanto).(Squanto).  Small colony: 1000 in 1640 and 2000 in 1660 (compare to Boston with 20,000 in 1660)  Mayflower Compact
  13. 13. Plymouth ColonyPlymouth Colony  “…“…a great inward hopea great inward hope and zeal.”and zeal.” - William Bradford- William Bradford  Saw themselves as “steppingSaw themselves as “stepping stones unto others…layingstones unto others…laying some good foundation, or atsome good foundation, or at least to make some wayleast to make some way therunto, for the propagating &therunto, for the propagating & advancing the gospel of theadvancing the gospel of the kingdom of Christ in thosekingdom of Christ in those remote parts of the world.”remote parts of the world.”  Very humble, mainly intent onVery humble, mainly intent on escaping worldly snares, notescaping worldly snares, not so interested in reforming theso interested in reforming the Church of England.Church of England.  Absorbed into largerAbsorbed into larger Massachusettes Colony inMassachusettes Colony in 1691.1691.
  14. 14. GettingGetting (More)(More) ThereThere  Royal Grant to all of NewRoyal Grant to all of New England in 1620 to the CouncilEngland in 1620 to the Council for New England.for New England.  Pilgrims were just one of variousPilgrims were just one of various groups that settled along coast.groups that settled along coast.  1628 Council granted charter to a1628 Council granted charter to a group of Puritan merchants - thegroup of Puritan merchants - the New England Company (NEC).New England Company (NEC).  John Endecott, a Puritan is sentJohn Endecott, a Puritan is sent to take charge of small Salemto take charge of small Salem “Plantation”“Plantation”  1629 (just before Charles1629 (just before Charles dissolved parliament) NECdissolved parliament) NEC obtains a royal charter confirmingobtains a royal charter confirming the grant, now they becomethe grant, now they become “Governor and Company of the“Governor and Company of the Massachusetts Bay in NewMassachusetts Bay in New England” - pretty independentEngland” - pretty independent now.now.
  15. 15. Massachusetts Bay ColonyMassachusetts Bay Colony  Not schizmatic like Pilgrims.Not schizmatic like Pilgrims.  John Winthrop (1588-1649)John Winthrop (1588-1649) sets sail aboard thesets sail aboard the ArbellaArbella inin 1630 to establish covenantal1630 to establish covenantal community with God.community with God.  400 men, women, children in first400 men, women, children in first 4 ships - 600 more follow.4 ships - 600 more follow.  Land at Salem, but go to BostonLand at Salem, but go to Boston peninsula - very defensible.peninsula - very defensible.  200 die during first winter, 200200 die during first winter, 200 more call it quits by next Spring.more call it quits by next Spring.  But many more arrive - 15,000-But many more arrive - 15,000- 20,000 Puritans fled Charles’20,000 Puritans fled Charles’ attempt to rule without Parliamentattempt to rule without Parliament - “The Great Migration”- “The Great Migration”  “…“…Citte on a hill…”Citte on a hill…”
  16. 16. John WinthropJohn Winthrop  First Governor of Massachusetts Bay ColonyFirst Governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony  Wealthy puritan merchant of some renownWealthy puritan merchant of some renown  ““And who knows, but that god hath provided thisAnd who knows, but that god hath provided this place, to be a refuge for manye, whom heplace, to be a refuge for manye, whom he means to save out of the general destruction.”means to save out of the general destruction.”  ““It hath pleased the Lorde to call me to furtherIt hath pleased the Lorde to call me to further trust in this business of the plantation, thantrust in this business of the plantation, than either I expected or finde my selfe fitt for.”either I expected or finde my selfe fitt for.”  A great leader, organizer, and intenselyA great leader, organizer, and intensely religious.religious.
  17. 17. “…“…the Lord will be out God and delight to dwellthe Lord will be out God and delight to dwell among us, as his owne people and willamong us, as his owne people and will commaund a blessing upon us in all our wayes,commaund a blessing upon us in all our wayes, soe that wee shall see much more of hissoe that wee shall see much more of his wisdome power goodnes and truthe… wee shallwisdome power goodnes and truthe… wee shall finde that the God of Israell is among us, whenfinde that the God of Israell is among us, when tenn of us shall be able to resist a thousand oftenn of us shall be able to resist a thousand of our enemies…for wee must Consider that weeour enemies…for wee must Consider that wee shall be as a Citty upon a Hill, the eies of allshall be as a Citty upon a Hill, the eies of all people are uppon us.” -- Journals, John Winthroppeople are uppon us.” -- Journals, John Winthrop (1630)(1630)
  18. 18. Winthrop’s IdeasWinthrop’s Ideas ““Thus stands the cause between God and us. We are entered intoThus stands the cause between God and us. We are entered into covenant with him for his work. We have taken out a commission,covenant with him for his work. We have taken out a commission, the Lord hath given us leave to draw our own articles.”the Lord hath given us leave to draw our own articles.” If the ships land safely, it would be God’s sign of having sealed theIf the ships land safely, it would be God’s sign of having sealed the covenant. Should the people betray their promises, “…the Lord willcovenant. Should the people betray their promises, “…the Lord will surely break out in wrath against us, be revenged of such a perjuredsurely break out in wrath against us, be revenged of such a perjured people, and make us know the price of the breach of such apeople, and make us know the price of the breach of such a covenant.”covenant.” “…“…to follow the counsel of Micah, to do justly, to love mercy, to walkto follow the counsel of Micah, to do justly, to love mercy, to walk humbly with our God.”humbly with our God.” ““We must be knit together as one man.”We must be knit together as one man.” ““We must delight in each other, make others’ conditions our own,We must delight in each other, make others’ conditions our own, rejoice together, mourn together, labor and suffer together, alwaysrejoice together, mourn together, labor and suffer together, always having before our eyes our commission and community in the work,having before our eyes our commission and community in the work, our community as members of the same body….then God in turnour community as members of the same body….then God in turn would delight to dwell among us as his own people.”would delight to dwell among us as his own people.” ““We shall find that the God of Israel is among us, when ten of us shallWe shall find that the God of Israel is among us, when ten of us shall be able to resist a thousand of our enemies.” - Journals.be able to resist a thousand of our enemies.” - Journals.
  19. 19. More on MassachusettesMore on Massachusettes  The Puritan Way expanded toThe Puritan Way expanded to Connecticut and then to NewConnecticut and then to New HampshireHampshire  Congregationalism = PuritanismCongregationalism = Puritanism  Edward Taylor, Puritan PoetEdward Taylor, Puritan Poet wrote: “Lord, Can a Crumb ofwrote: “Lord, Can a Crumb of Dust the Earth outweigh OutmatchDust the Earth outweigh Outmatch all mountains, nay the Chrystallall mountains, nay the Chrystall Sky?” - humans are the dust.Sky?” - humans are the dust.  Emphasis on education, HarvardEmphasis on education, Harvard founded just 7 years after landing.founded just 7 years after landing. Each township had a school.Each township had a school.  ““Salvation is given by God, notSalvation is given by God, not earned by women or men.” -earned by women or men.” - Samuel Willard (1640-1707)Samuel Willard (1640-1707)
  20. 20. Puritan Social LifePuritan Social Life  EducationEducation  Church membership = communion of saintsChurch membership = communion of saints  Family affection, covenantal relationshipsFamily affection, covenantal relationships  Civil meetings take place in Meeting House = Church.Civil meetings take place in Meeting House = Church. Theocracy?Theocracy?  HumilityHumility  Emphasis/obsession on community/purityEmphasis/obsession on community/purity  IndustriousnessIndustriousness  Willingness to endure hardship, struggle, endure.Willingness to endure hardship, struggle, endure.
  21. 21. Sources of ConflictSources of Conflict  Winthrop came as the governor of Mass Colony – duty to establish the communal order, economic, legal, etc. responsibilities. – focused on the pragmatics and alert to dangers. – he thought that because the people of Boston were true Christians they had sin under control (not eradicated), but a healthy body can get rid of disease.  Roger Williams (1603-1682) comes to Boston in 1631 as minister, but had problems with the Puritans:  1) shouldn’t claim to still be part of the C of E while pursuing diff paths of worship and thought - can not “build a square house on top of a ship’s keel.”  2) no acknowledgement of Indians ownership of land. Not “empty land” - and who gave it to the King of England in the first place?  3) Did not agree with “the setting up of civil power and officers to judge the conviction of men’s souls.”
  22. 22. Anne Hutchinson and Roger WilliamsAnne Hutchinson and Roger Williams  Anne Hutchinson (1591-1643)Anne Hutchinson (1591-1643) – Hutchinson sees Puritanism as a means of self-expression – she does a great job of discussing John Cotton’s sermons in her kitchen with as much as 80 people – she served as a teacher when it wasn’t allowed for women  Antinomianism “against the law”  Enthusiasm “presumption to be directly inspired by God” - like the prophets of old themselves.
  23. 23. Ideological DifferencesIdeological Differences  Preparation v. Assurance – the Winthrop people felt that the most you could look for in this life is the hope of salvation – the Hutchinson group (including John Cotton) said there is another stage  the sealing of the assurance where you have Christ in a union  consummation of the wedding (enthusiasm)  there is a new creature now, not happening later in heaven, Christ has taken over your personality – then you can do no wrong  there is no earthly, human law that can condemn or judge you (Antinomianism)
  24. 24. Religious Dissent and AuthorityReligious Dissent and Authority  Winthrop gathered ministers and town leaders together to put pressure on John Cotton and persuaded him over time to reject Hutchinson  Hutchinson was exiled from Massachusetts and moved to Rhode Island – She died in an Indian attack in 1643 in New York  Roger Williams is banished (in Winter) and then founds the colony of “Rhode Island and Providence Plantations” based on religious freedom and tolerance. – Bought the land from Indians. – Organized a separate church – Determined that civil government would have nothing to do with religion.
  25. 25.  Williams is exiled by law that was not revokedWilliams is exiled by law that was not revoked until 1936 with Massachusetts House Bill 488until 1936 with Massachusetts House Bill 488 which formally ended 300 years of exilewhich formally ended 300 years of exile  ""Whereas Mr. Roger Williams, one of the Elders of theWhereas Mr. Roger Williams, one of the Elders of the church of Salem, hath broached and divulged new andchurch of Salem, hath broached and divulged new and dangerous opinions against the authority of magistrates,dangerous opinions against the authority of magistrates, as also written letters of defamation, both of theas also written letters of defamation, both of the magistrates and churches here, and that before anymagistrates and churches here, and that before any conviction, and yet maintaineth the same without anyconviction, and yet maintaineth the same without any retraction; it is, therefore, ordered that the said Mr.retraction; it is, therefore, ordered that the said Mr. Williams shall depart out of this jurisdiction within sixWilliams shall depart out of this jurisdiction within six weeks now next ensuingweeks now next ensuing . . . ". . . "
  26. 26. Inscription on Monument:Inscription on Monument: ANN HUTCHINSONANN HUTCHINSON Banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony InBanished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony In 1638 Because of Her Devotion to Religious1638 Because of Her Devotion to Religious Liberty This Courageous Woman SoughtLiberty This Courageous Woman Sought Freedom From Persecution In New NetherlandFreedom From Persecution In New Netherland Near This Rock in 1643 She and Her HouseholdNear This Rock in 1643 She and Her Household Were Massacred by IndiansWere Massacred by Indians This Tablet is placed here by the Colonial Dames of theThis Tablet is placed here by the Colonial Dames of the State of New YorkState of New York Anno Domini MCMXIAnno Domini MCMXI
  27. 27. IndiansIndians  How to regard the nativeHow to regard the native peoples?peoples?  Squanto (Tisquatum) - EnglishSquanto (Tisquatum) - English speaking native who assistedspeaking native who assisted Pilgrims through 1st winter.Pilgrims through 1st winter. They would not have survivedThey would not have survived w/o him.w/o him.  Pequot War (1637)Pequot War (1637)  King Phillip’s War (1676)King Phillip’s War (1676) (Narangansetts)(Narangansetts)  Captives and exchangeCaptives and exchange  Missionizing and “PrayingMissionizing and “Praying Indians”Indians”
  28. 28. Rhode Island: A New IdeaRhode Island: A New Idea  Rhode Island was established as the firstRhode Island was established as the first secular state.secular state.  It emphasized democracy instead of theocracyIt emphasized democracy instead of theocracy or monarchy.or monarchy. – Election was done “by papers” (ballots) freely givenElection was done “by papers” (ballots) freely given by all free inhabitantsby all free inhabitants  It also emphasized religious freedom.It also emphasized religious freedom. – Individuals were allowed to "walk as their conscienceIndividuals were allowed to "walk as their conscience persuaded them, every one in the name of his God.”persuaded them, every one in the name of his God.” – ““Forced worship stinks in God’s nostrils.”Forced worship stinks in God’s nostrils.”  It emphasized the separation of church andIt emphasized the separation of church and state.state.
  29. 29. Rhode Island and WilliamsRhode Island and Williams RejectedRejected  The “orthodox” Puritans of MassachusettsThe “orthodox” Puritans of Massachusetts referred to Rhode Island as “the Lord’s debris.”referred to Rhode Island as “the Lord’s debris.”  Others joked that if someone had lost theirOthers joked that if someone had lost their religion, they were sure to find it somewhere inreligion, they were sure to find it somewhere in Rhode Island.Rhode Island.  In 1643 Rhode Island was refused admissionIn 1643 Rhode Island was refused admission into the coalition of colonies that wasinto the coalition of colonies that was established for protection from the Indians.established for protection from the Indians.
  30. 30. Declension and IntoleranceDeclension and Intolerance  2nd and 3rd generations not so religious…2nd and 3rd generations not so religious…  Baptism at birth then clear conversionBaptism at birth then clear conversion experience expected, but 2nd generation notexperience expected, but 2nd generation not having themhaving them  ““Halfway Covenant” to keep 2nd gen. in theHalfway Covenant” to keep 2nd gen. in the covenant of the Churchcovenant of the Church  Admitted to Sacraments to encourage orAdmitted to Sacraments to encourage or facilitate conversion…facilitate conversion…  Quakers and Baptists expelled, flogged, or hung.Quakers and Baptists expelled, flogged, or hung.
  31. 31. Solomon Stoddard (1643-1749)Solomon Stoddard (1643-1749)  Suggests the Halfway Covenant in 1677Suggests the Halfway Covenant in 1677  Decline of virtueDecline of virtue  Rise of economic success in trade withRise of economic success in trade with England, economic disparities are visualEngland, economic disparities are visual indications of the fracturing community.indications of the fracturing community.  Trade goods from England seen as signsTrade goods from England seen as signs of indulgence.of indulgence. What is happening?What is happening?  The Devil, that’s what…..The Devil, that’s what…..
  32. 32. Wonders and WitchcraftWonders and Witchcraft TrialsTrials  ““World of Wonders”World of Wonders”  Activity of the supernatural in the modern worldActivity of the supernatural in the modern world  Dabbling with astrology, magic, alchemyDabbling with astrology, magic, alchemy  Part of the daily life of most people in NewPart of the daily life of most people in New England in 1600sEngland in 1600s  Practice of magic connected to Christianity inPractice of magic connected to Christianity in compatible wayscompatible ways  Both God and Satan worked through “occult”Both God and Satan worked through “occult” waysways  Attempt to identify God’s “miracles” vs. Satan’sAttempt to identify God’s “miracles” vs. Satan’s “wonders”“wonders”
  33. 33. Witchcraft TrialsWitchcraft Trials  Salem Witch Trials (1692) most famousSalem Witch Trials (1692) most famous – But early trials from 1648 and 1651 Mrs. Kendal isBut early trials from 1648 and 1651 Mrs. Kendal is first execution.first execution.  Belief that Satan was trying to overturn socialBelief that Satan was trying to overturn social orderorder  Salem: 160 accused, 19 executed (15 women)Salem: 160 accused, 19 executed (15 women) and 1 man pressed to death.and 1 man pressed to death.  Why did they happen?Why did they happen? – PersonalitiesPersonalities – Social differencesSocial differences – Psychological needsPsychological needs – Gender issues:Gender issues: Devil in the Shape of a WomanDevil in the Shape of a Woman (1987)(1987) Carol KarlsenCarol Karlsen – Politics:Politics: In the Devil's SnareIn the Devil's Snare (2002) Mary Beth Norton(2002) Mary Beth Norton
  34. 34. Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758) and TheJonathan Edwards (1703-1758) and The Great AwakeningGreat Awakening  New PreachingNew Preaching  ““There is no question whatsoever that is ofThere is no question whatsoever that is of greater importance to mankind then this: Whatgreater importance to mankind then this: What is the nature of true religion?”is the nature of true religion?”  Emphasis on AffectionsEmphasis on Affections  ““Spiritual wisdom and grace is the highest andSpiritual wisdom and grace is the highest and most excellent gift that ever God bestows on anymost excellent gift that ever God bestows on any creature, it is not a thing that belongs tocreature, it is not a thing that belongs to reason…it is not a speculative thing, butreason…it is not a speculative thing, but depends on the sense of the heart.”depends on the sense of the heart.”  Difference between being told that honey isDifference between being told that honey is sweet and the taste of it for oneself….sweet and the taste of it for oneself….  JeremaidsJeremaids
  35. 35. SummarySummary  Halfway Covenant, Witch Trials,Halfway Covenant, Witch Trials, Jeremiads, Great Awakening, IndianJeremiads, Great Awakening, Indian problems, Hutchinson and Williams allproblems, Hutchinson and Williams all indicate the need for adaptation.indicate the need for adaptation.  Divine Providence was challenged againDivine Providence was challenged again and again leading to crises of faithand again leading to crises of faith  TheThe ErrandErrand becomes an adventurebecomes an adventure  Search for a new, unique,Search for a new, unique, AmericanAmerican identity.identity.
  36. 36. Part III: LegacyPart III: Legacy  Myth of the Pilgrims?Myth of the Pilgrims?  Transformation and Continuation,Transformation and Continuation, Scholarly Debates…Scholarly Debates…  Core of American Culture?Core of American Culture?
  37. 37. So How/Why the Myth of Pilgrims?So How/Why the Myth of Pilgrims?  1820: Daniel Webster (1782-1852) coined the term1820: Daniel Webster (1782-1852) coined the term “Pilgrim Fathers” taking the term “Pilgrim” from William“Pilgrim Fathers” taking the term “Pilgrim” from William Bradford journals. He overlooked the differencesBradford journals. He overlooked the differences between Separatists and New England Puritans.between Separatists and New England Puritans.  In the face of tensions before the Civil War, nation-wideIn the face of tensions before the Civil War, nation-wide movement to celebrate Thanksgiving Day as a means ofmovement to celebrate Thanksgiving Day as a means of uniting the nation under a consensual myth. Theuniting the nation under a consensual myth. The Pilgrim’s quest for religious freedom equated to ColonialPilgrim’s quest for religious freedom equated to Colonial quest for independence from England, the Old World.quest for independence from England, the Old World. America stands for freedom (from slavery too).America stands for freedom (from slavery too).  1863: Abraham Lincoln declares Thanksgiving Day a1863: Abraham Lincoln declares Thanksgiving Day a national holiday.national holiday.
  38. 38. Transformation or Continuation?Transformation or Continuation?  Sydney E. Ahlstrom: Continuity from 1463 toSydney E. Ahlstrom: Continuity from 1463 to 1963 (Elizabeth to JFK)1963 (Elizabeth to JFK)  Aesthetic ThesisAesthetic Thesis: Calvin to Edwards to Emerson: Calvin to Edwards to Emerson to Social Gospel to Martin Luther King, Jr to 60’sto Social Gospel to Martin Luther King, Jr to 60’s “Awakening”“Awakening”  Reformed Theological Tradition: rising up to CivilReformed Theological Tradition: rising up to Civil War, then declining.War, then declining.  Aesthetic core? Intellectual? Cultural?Aesthetic core? Intellectual? Cultural? PluribusPluribus oror UnumUnum??
  39. 39. Historical ConnectionsHistorical Connections  Great Awakenings and Evangelical ChristianityGreat Awakenings and Evangelical Christianity  American Protestantism TodayAmerican Protestantism Today – Christian ConservativesChristian Conservatives – FundamentalistsFundamentalists – PentecostalsPentecostals – Mainline or Liberal ChristiansMainline or Liberal Christians  TranscendentalismTranscendentalism – True Religion becomes universal religion using non-True Religion becomes universal religion using non- biblical language (Self, Oversoul, Self-reliance, etc.)biblical language (Self, Oversoul, Self-reliance, etc.)
  40. 40. Beginnings of American Culture  Mobilization toward unique American identity  Core theme of independence and individual conscience  Core dilemma of social order and self- expression  Missionary efforts as expansionism/imperialismMissionary efforts as expansionism/imperialism – Slaves, leading to Civil WarSlaves, leading to Civil War – Indians, leading into the WestIndians, leading into the West  Education, Ivy League UniversitiesEducation, Ivy League Universities
  41. 41. The myth(s) of the Puritans?The myth(s) of the Puritans?  Puritans as founders of God’s nationPuritans as founders of God’s nation  Puritans concerned that someone somewhere isPuritans concerned that someone somewhere is having a good timehaving a good time  Scapegoating (Catholics, Reds, Homosexuals,Scapegoating (Catholics, Reds, Homosexuals, Terrorists)Terrorists) Some truth in each.Some truth in each.
  42. 42. A loss of something ever felt I-A loss of something ever felt I- The first that I could recollectThe first that I could recollect Bereft I was - of what I knew notBereft I was - of what I knew not Too young that any should suspectToo young that any should suspect A Mourner walked among the childrenA Mourner walked among the children I notwithstanding went aboutI notwithstanding went about As one bemoaning a DominionAs one bemoaning a Dominion Itself the only Prince cast out -Itself the only Prince cast out - Elder, Today, A session wiserElder, Today, A session wiser And fainter, too, as Wiseness is -And fainter, too, as Wiseness is - I find myself still softly searchingI find myself still softly searching For my Delinquent Palaces -For my Delinquent Palaces - And a Suspicion, like a FingerAnd a Suspicion, like a Finger Touches my Forehead now and thenTouches my Forehead now and then That I am looking oppositelyThat I am looking oppositely For the site of the Kingdom of Heaven.For the site of the Kingdom of Heaven. ca. 1864 Emily Dickinsonca. 1864 Emily Dickinson

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