The comprehensive history of a system of faith that shaped the nation.
Author: Francis J. Bremer
An introduction to the diverse lives of the Puritan founders by a leading expert
Building a New Jerusalem
Author: Francis J. Bremer
Publisher: Yale University Press
John Davenport, who cofounded the colony of New Haven, has been neglected in studies that view early New England primarily from a Massachusetts viewpoint. Francis J. Bremer restores the clergyman to importance by examining Davenport’s crucial role as an advocate for religious reform in England and the Netherlands before his emigration, his engagement with an international community of scholars and clergy, and his significant contributions to colonial America. Bremer shows that he was in many ways a remarkably progressive leader for his time, with a strong commitment to education for both women and men, a vibrant interest in new science, and a dedication to upholding democratic principles in churches at a time when many other Puritan clergymen were emphasizing the power of their office above all else. Bremer’s enlightening and accessible biography of an important figure in New England history provides a unique perspective on the seventeenth-century transatlantic Puritan movement.
Author: Sumner Chilton Powell
Publisher: Wesleyan University Press
An award-winning study of Puritans and the formation of their towns.
Extant letters addressed to England by Massachusetts Bay colonists during the colony's first decade are provided with linking narrative and explanatory notes
The Precisianist Strain
Author: Theodore Dwight Bozeman
Publisher: UNC Press Books
In an examination of transatlantic Puritanism from 1570 to 1638, Theodore Dwight Bozeman analyzes the quest for purity through sanctification. The word "Puritan," he says, accurately depicts a major and often obsessive trait of the English late Reformatio
Written by a leading expert on the Puritans, this brief, informative volume offers a wealth of background on this key religious movement. This book traces the shaping, triumph, and decline of the Puritan world, while also examining the role of religion in the shaping of American society and the role of the Puritan legacy in American history. Francis J. Bremer discusses the rise of Puritanism in the English Reformation, the struggle of the reformers to purge what they viewed as the corruptions of Roman Catholicism from the Elizabethan church, and the struggle with the Stuart monarchs that led to a brief Puritan triumph under Oliver Cromwell. It also examines the effort of Puritans who left England to establish a godly kingdom in America. Bremer examines puritan theology, views on family and community, their beliefs about the proper relationship between religion and public life, the limits of toleration, the balance between individual rights and one's obligation to others, and the extent to which public character should be shaped by private religious belief. About the Series: Combining authority with wit, accessibility, and style, Very Short Introductions offer an introduction to some of life's most interesting topics. Written by experts for the newcomer, they demonstrate the finest contemporary thinking about the central problems and issues in hundreds of key topics, from philosophy to Freud, quantum theory to Islam.
Author: Edmund S. Morgan
Publisher: Harper Collins
The Puritans came to New England not merely to save their souls but to establish a "visible" kingdom of God, a society where outward conduct would be according to God's laws. This book discusses the desire of the Puritans to be socially virtuous and their wish to force social virtue upon others.
Author: Leland Ryken
"Ryken's Worldly Saints offers a fine introduction to seventeenth-century Puritanism in its English and American contexts. The work is rich in quotations from Puritan worthies and is ideally suited to general readers who have not delved widely into Puritan literature. It will also be a source of information and inspiration to those who seek a clearer understanding of the Puritan roots of American Christianity." -Harry Stout, Yale University "...the typical Puritans were not wild men, fierce and freaky, religious fanatics and social extremists, but sober, conscientious, and cultured citizens, persons of principle, determined and disciplined excelling in the domestic virtues, and with no obvious shortcomings save a tendency to run to words when saying anything important, whether to God or to a man. At last the record has been put straight." -J.I. Packer, Regent College "Worldly Saints provides a revealing treasury of primary and secondary evidence for understanding the Puritans, who they were, what they believed, and how they acted. This is a book of value and interest for scholars and students, clergy and laity alike." -Roland Mushat Frye, University of Pennsylvania "A very persuasive...most interesting book...stuffed with quotations from Puritan sources, almost to the point of making it a mini-anthology." -Publishers Weekly "With Worldly Saints, Christians of all persuasions have a tool that provides ready access to the vast treasures of Puritan thought." -Christianity Today "Ryken writes with a vigor and enthusiasm that makes delightful reading-never a dull moment." -Fides et Historia "Worldly Saints provides a valuable picture of Puritan life and values. It should be useful for general readers as well as for students of history and literature." -Christianity and Literature
Cotton Mather (1663-1728) was America's most famous pastor and scholar at the beginning of the eighteenth century. People today generally associate him with the infamous Salem witch trials, but in this new biography Rick Kennedy tells a bigger story: Mather, he says, was the very first American evangelical. A fresh retelling of Cotton Mather's life, this biography corrects misconceptions and focuses on how he sought to promote, socially and intellectually, a biblical lifestyle. As older Puritan hopes in New England were giving way to a broader and shallower Protestantism, Mather led a populist, Bible-oriented movement that embraced the new century -- the beginning of a dynamic evangelical tradition that eventually became a major force in American culture. Incorporating the latest scholarly research but written for a popular audience, The First American Evangelical brings Cotton Mather and his world to life in a way that helps readers understand both the Puritanism in which he grew up and the evangelicalism he pioneered. Watch a 2015 interview with the author of this book here:
Author: Francis J. Bremer, Massachusetts Historical Society, Millersville University of Pennsylvania, Institute of Early American History and Culture (Williamsburg, Va.)
Publisher: Northeastern University Press
In 1991 an international group of scholars gathered at Millersville University in Pennsylvania to study
Puritans in the New World tells the story of the powerful yet turbulent culture of the English people who embarked on an "errand into the wilderness." It presents the Puritans in their own words, shedding light on the lives both of great dissenters such as Roger Williams and Anne Hutchinson and of the orthodox leaders who contended against them. Classics of Puritan expression, like Mary Rowlandson's captivity narrative, Anne Bradstreet's poetry, and William Bradford's Of Plymouth Plantation appear alongside texts that are less well known but no less important: confessions of religious experience by lay people, the "diabolical" possession of a young woman, and the testimony of Native Americans who accept Christianity. Hall's chapter introductions provide a running history of Puritanism in seventeenth-century New England and alert readers to important scholarship. Above all, this is a collection of texts that vividly illuminates the experience of being a Puritan in the New World. The book will be welcomed by all those who are interested in early American literature, religion, and history.