Puritans: black-coated, grim, prim, prudish witch chasers. Some common characterizations are correct; many are not. This comprehensive treatment of Puritans and Puritanism sorts fact from fiction, and presents the broadest picture ever of the Puritan movement, a driving force in the founding of America and a continuing influence on American and British norms.
This exhaustive treatment of the Puritan movement covers its doctrines, its people, its effects on politics and culture, and its enduring legacy in modern Britain and America.
Puritanism began in the 1530s as a reform movement within the Church of England. It endured into the 18th century. In between, it powerfully influenced the course of political events both in Britain and in the United States. Puritanism shaped the American colonies, particularly New England. It was a key ingredient in literature, from authors as diverse as John Milton and Nathaniel Hawthorne. Although Puritanism as a formal movement has been gone for more than 300 years, its influence continues on the mores and norms of America and Britain.
This ambitious work contains nearly 700 entries covering people, events, ideas, and doctrines—the whole of Puritanism. Exhaustive and authoritative, it draws on the work of more than 80 leading scholars in the field. Impeccable scholarship combines with eminent readability to make this a valuable work for all readers and researchers from secondary school up.
• Nearly 700 entries cover the entire spectrum of Puritanism: people, places, events, doctrines, culture, and politics
• More than 80 leading scholars provide authoritative information in readable, accessible form
• Primary source documents, from essays by influential Puritan leaders to excerpts from diaries of everyday people, illuminate the concerns of Puritans in their own words
• Numerous illustrations include portraits of Puritan figures, photographs of historic sites, and images of historical events
• A glossary gives quick reference for such unfamiliar terms as antinomianism, conventicles, familist, and Socinian
• The latest insights into Puritanism and its impact on the United States and the United Kingdom presented by top American and British scholars
• Dispels myths about Puritans and sex, Puritans and drinking, the persecution of witches, and other topics where myth has substituted for fact
• A thorough explanation of the Puritan belief system and its effect on daily life, government, literature, and economic life
• Written for readability at the high school level, yet scholarly and authoritative to satisfy researchers at any level