Puritans and Puritanism in Europe and America
A Comprehensive Encyclopedia
by Francis J. Bremer and Tom Webster, Editors
December 2005, 697pp, 8 1/2x11
2 volumes, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-57607-678-1
$201, £155, 175€, A276
eBook Available: 978-1-57607-679-8
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

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
Francis J. Bremer, Ph.D., is chair of the Department of History at Millersville University of Pennsylvania, Millersville, PA, and editor of the Winthrop Papers for the Massachusetts Historical Society. His published works include numerous studies of Puritanism, including The Puritan Experiment: New England Society from Bradford to Edwards, Congregational Communion: Clerical Friendship in the Anglo-American Puritan Community, 1610–1692, and, most recently, John Winthrop: America's Forgotten Founding Father.

Tom Webster, Ph.D., is lecturer in British history at the University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland. His published works include Godly Clergy in Early Stuart England and The Diary of Samuel Rogers, 1634–38.


Outstanding Academic Title 2006—CHOICE, January 1, 2007


"This encyclopedia offers an excellent entry into Puritan thought on a wide range of topics. ... this comprehensive encyclopedia offers the best material for a wide range of readers and researchers. Summing up: Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates and above; general readers."—Choice, October 1, 2006
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