Talk:Puritans

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edit·history·watch·refresh Stock post message.svg To-do list for Puritans:
  1. Generalize
  2. Get pictures
  3. Give a brief overview of the history
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anglicanism Calvinist?[edit]

There is no scource for this statement, this is a point of view and is not valid,the statements on Anglicansim should be changed —Preceding unsigned comment added by Sfcongeredwards (talkcontribs) 16:50, 3 October 2009 (UTC)

Further reading and External links[edit]

I have moved the long lists from the article sections "further reading" and "external links" because Wikipedia is not a mirror or a repository of links, images, or media files. I suggest that some one who knows what they are doing (an expert) puts back up to half a dozen pertinent or representative titles. To aid that process I have placed the list here in a collapsed format below:

--PBS (talk) 12:45, 1 December 2009 (UTC)

"The Puritan spirit in the United States" sectio: forst paragraph, last sentence — semantic error[edit]

<quote>"Because of these beliefs, the Puritans publicly punished drunkenness and sexual relations outside of marriage, as do Christians."</quote> Aren't Puritans a type of Christian? Doensn't "as do Christians" make no logical sense? --Ptharien's Flame (Alexanderaltman) 04:36, 25 December 2009 (UTC)

Puritanical should be discussed here, too.[edit]

I have read of the usage of "puritanical" versus "puritan". "Puritanical" links to the current article. I have seen the word "puritanical" used to describe other non-puritan sects. Carlos Fuentes (El Espejo Enterrado - The Buried Mirror, p. 302) makes reference to "a strict puritanism" that coexisted during the 17th century Spanish colonial epoch in the Americas with more relaxed interpretations of Christianity. This was, of course, within Catholic philosophies that reacted against the libertine movement brought on by the Renaissance. So, my question to the writer(s) of this article is: You mention some parallels of Puritanism to Early Catholic thought (perhaps mystics like St. John of the Cross), but did the Puritanism start with protestants or was it a movement that started within the Catholic Church, become unsupported and then moved outward with Calvinists, Lutherans, Knox followers, etc., but that puritanism was also in the Catholic, Orthodox and other high churches?

This is not a commentary on the topic, as it is a request for further development of the article. I came here seeking clarification from Fuentes' book, where he mentions puritanism within the Catholic society of Spanish Colonial America (as separate from English America or even Anglican America) and all I read is a commentary that it started with Puritans, Calvinists, etc. I think it is a more generic movement than just within Protestant circles. Consider the Opus Dei!

Thanks for reading. That's all I wanted. 201.230.187.153 (talk) 16:05, 1 February 2010 (UTC)

Far as I know, the term was not used before the founding of Anglicanism, nor was this name used at the time among Catholics, for their own opinions or those of other Catholics. Perhaps the modern author was applying the term in a modern sense: descriptively or even metaphorically. Does he quote its use among 17th century Catholics? Jim.henderson (talk) 20:52, 1 February 2010 (UTC)

Calvinism[edit]

The whole section "Beliefs" is about Calvinism. Is Puritanism equivalent to Calvanism? If so, that should be made very clear at the beginning of the article. I thought that the Puritans broke away from the Church of England.[User:Lestrade|Lestrade]] (talk) 18:02, 25 February 2010 (UTC)Lestrade,

It seems that the whole article is inadequately sourced. I noticed quite a number of questionable statements on a quick browse. It probably needs reconstruction, with dogmatic assertions replaced by proper discussions of terminology. Some basic points, for example the distinction between what can be said about clerical Puritanism, and lay Puritans (a much vaguer notion), seem to be missing. Charles Matthews (talk) 22:14, 3 March 2010 (UTC)
I have edited the lead and "Background" section to add more historical landmarks (which were mostly lacking), and to clarify the reasonable points made. The rest of the seems to have a remarkable amount of pure assertion. Charles Matthews (talk) 20:37, 4 March 2010 (UTC)
In repy to I thought that the Puritans broke away from the Church of England. No - the Puritans wanted to prify the church from within & saw in the New World an opportunity to create a perfect model for the church which could be re-exported back to the mother country. The puritans (and the pilgrims) would not have described themselves at the time as followers of John Calvin (although he was greatly admired), because they honestly believed that they were interpreting the Bible themselves. However, with the benefit of historical hindsight, their way of interpreting the Bible must be called Calvinist.216.107.194.166 (talk) 16:25, 3 May 2010 (UTC)

Southerns hated obedience to God and Hard Work[edit]

I removed The traditional American Southern view alleges that the Puritan ethic was at root the cause of the Civil War.[citation needed] In this view, the South resisted Puritan intolerant aggression with mainstream Reformed Christianity. Owing to Puritan beliefs that emphasize the individual's autonomous interpretation of Scripture, separation from mainstream Christianity, and that economic success suggested God's blessings, the traditional Southerner attributed the regional conflict to the greed of the Northern ("Yankee") Puritan mindset, which believed it was more righteous than others. If a reliable sources for the main points in this paragraph can be found it can be put back. But it is difficult to believe that to love and obey god, and to work hard were ideas so repugnant to the South they would go to war. Reformed Christianity is Calvinist and Congregationalists are pretty much the mainstream. Both Presbyterian (also Calvinist) and Baptists were widespread in the South and both emphasize the individual's autonomous interpretation of Scripture. Nitpyck (talk) 02:24, 25 March 2010 (UTC)

I noticed that it doesn't talk about the persecution of Quakers, I was just there (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Religious_Society_of_Friends#Persecution_in_the_New_World) and there seems to be some inconsistency between the two article 75.61.69.42 (talk) 23:40, 30 March 2010 (UTC)Dakota

Well in England they were only in power during Cromwell's Commonwealth and I have no idea if they were harder on Quakers then any other religious group they disagreed with. I do know they allowed the Jews back into England. As far as New England goes there is nearly nothing about the theocracy and how it worked and what it allowed and prohibited. In fact a lot of this article is based on a misunderstanding of the NE Puritans. Two examples- they did not disprove of either alcohol or sex. But please BE BOLD, go ahead and add info about the persecution of religious groups by Puritans and add a link to History of the Religious Society of Friends.Nitpyck (talk) 05:31, 11 April 2010 (UTC)

Request advice about the Puritans in this template[edit]

See Template:17th Century Scholasticism

1. Is this correct? Were the Puritans against scholastic theology? I am of the impression, given their emphasis on obedience and morals, that the Puritans were analogous to the Pietists. 2. Is this a good fit for the Puritans article?

Thanks.--Epiphyllumlover (talk) 23:21, 4 April 2010 (UTC)

There are works of Puritan authors that fit into "early modern scholasticism", certainly. It is important to be clear what is being said, though. The systematic development of a (Protestant) theological system is often enough called "scholastic", as a matter of style, while not having anything in common with scholastic theology. See Ramism for where this fits in, for example. Charles Matthews (talk) 07:37, 5 April 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for your quick response. Taking into account what you said, I removed Puritans from the template. It seems to me that their feud with scholastic Anglicans had nothing to do with the scholastic method, but instead their theology and polity. I've added in the Ramists as an example of Calvinist scholasticism, although it seems to me that there are more analytical and/or synthetic method scholastics among the Calvinists. However, I'm not aware of any Wikipedia articles that describe them.
As for what is being said in this template, well, I am looking for analogs to the high scholasticism of the Lutherans and the Jesuits. Ramism is closer to early Lutheran scholasticism, but in the absence of an article showcasing the scholasticism of Beza et. al., I think it will fit. I am not interested in labeling anything remotely orthodox as scholastic. Instead, I am looking for theological systems that utilized philosophical categories to express themselves.--Epiphyllumlover (talk) 02:14, 6 April 2010 (UTC)
I think you are right about Theodore Beza. He is on the pro-Aristotle side of the Calvinist theologians, where (roughly) the Ramists were trying to displace the Aristotle tradition with something of their own; I suppose Gerardus Vossius would be another representative of the 'continuity'. From what I happen to have been reading recently, it's a complicated discussion, given that the Lutheran roots in later medieval theology are more serious than the Calvinist roots which are closer to Erasmus. Charles Matthews (talk) 12:07, 14 April 2010 (UTC)

Demonology[edit]

I'm cutting off-topic statements and simplifying some sentences in this section. Feel free to undo me if you disagree. ^Thomas Edwards used witchcraft as an analogy for heresy. ^Puritans took a non-literal view of the Harrowing of Hell unlike others in COE

That's OK for keeping the "demonic" issue in perspective. The other material on the "Descensus" is serious enough to have in some form. History of the Puritans goes to town on many points - but actually omits this one. Ideally all the generalisations get backed up with historical evidence here - much work. I'm initially looking for the issues where one can put names and dates to views. Charles Matthews (talk) 14:47, 21 April 2010 (UTC)

Were the Separatists Puritans?[edit]

There seems to be some confusion on Wikipedia re: the difference (or not) between Puritans and Separatists.

The post reformation Church of England devolved into 3 camps (not discrete - there was a lot of flow of ideas between the camps). These camps or views were:

  1. The 'conformists' or those who believed in retaining the existing church structures.
  2. The 'puritans' who believed that the church should be reformed from within (they wanted to purify the national church by eliminating every shred of Catholic influence - they also believed that they had the duty to direct national affairs according to God's will as revealed in the Bible.)
  3. The 'non conformist' separatists who believed that the church should not be centrally organized & that each congregation should organize and worship according to their own conscience.

In England in the mid 17th Century, (from around 1625 to 1660) the puritans gained the upper hand, particularly during and following the English Civil War, but with the restoration of the monarchy in 1660, the puritan clergy were expelled under the 'Act of Uniformity'. They were not therefore voluntary separatists, but were induced to found seperate churches and truly become 'non-conformists'. May former puritans remained with the church - the impact of this can still be seen today with the Church of Englands 'High Church' and 'Low Church'

In Wikipedia writings on the Pilgrims (or at least the 'Saints' amongst the Pilgrims), the word Puritan and Pilgrim are often interchanged freely. I would argue that historical accounts are not best served in this way - I'm sure the Scrooby 'saints' would be surprised that they were equated with the 'puritans'. The 'saints' shared many of the beliefs of the Puritans, but unlike the pilgrims (by this I mean the 'saints', not the 'strangers' who also sailed on the Mayflower & settled with them), the Puritans who traveled to Massachusetts in 1630 were not separatists. The Puritan heart was to stay with the system, to work with it, and and change it from within. Rather than trying to flee persecution & intolerance, the Puritans had another reason for supporting the English colonies in the New World. They hoped to establish in New England a pure church that would offer a model for the church in England. This, they believed, would redeem and reform English society on both continents, and turn things around for the better.

As an aside, why when the power base in England had shifted to the puritans, it is perceieved that the migrants to the new world were being persecuted? Their numbers included some of the wealthiest in England who were very much part of the establishment. The colonies were sanctioned and supported by the government of the day. I can see the argument for fleeing persecution and intolerance being true for later migration (post 1660) but not for the original foundation of the Massachusetts colony in 1630.216.107.194.166 (talk) 16:15, 3 May 2010 (UTC)

Firstly, I'm not aware of any definitive, satisfactory definition of "Puritan". It seems that when James I used it in his writings, it did mean only separatists, such as the Brownists. Therefore this article includes separatists within its scope, explaining something about the issue in the section on terminology.
As for the New England situation, I would agree that the statements that the colonists were all victims of religious persecution are not very helpful. The colonies were never supported directly by the government, though; in the late 1630s there was support of Saybrook in particular by a group who became very important in Parliament by 1641, but that was the point at which emigration eased off. Charles Matthews (talk) 07:06, 4 May 2010 (UTC)

The term 'Nonconformists' - as used in the seventeenth century - were not 'separatists' but rather Church of England ministers who refused to conform to the Roman Catholic elements remaining within the Church of England. Nonconformists may have been deprived of the ability to take a living in the Church of England (and thus became school teachers or chaplains to aristocratic supporters) but did not form their own break away congregations like separatists did. Most of the anti-separatist writing of the seventeenth century was written by nonconformists who accused the Separatists of false pride and of abandoning the remnant of the godly within the Church of England. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.178.207.251 (talk) 08:18, 26 August 2010 (UTC)

Picture of Mayflower??[edit]

There is an illustration of the Mayflower but no mention of the Pilgrims anywhere in the article. Should the picture and its caption be removed?

Cbmccarthy (talk) 00:38, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

Not a huge choice at Commons. I have replaced it by a portrait. Charles Matthews (talk) 13:27, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

hello guy —Preceding unsigned comment added by 12.110.109.254 (talk) 15:53, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

The demise of the Puritans[edit]

This article would benefit from a brief discussion on the demise of the Puritans. Few (anyone?) today self-identify as a practicing Puritans and certainly we are not required to attend Meeting on the Sabbath as was the case in New England. It would be informative to know what became of the movement. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 67.175.124.153 (talk) 03:00, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

The detailed history is at History of the Puritans from 1649. Charles Matthews (talk) 06:58, 26 July 2010 (UTC)
I agree it would be infinitely more clear would this article make it clear on where to look next for the continuing history. I don't find the "main article" links very instructive that the demise of the Puritans would be at that link. This article should have at least a short paragraph discussing their demise.Wjhonson (talk) 17:09, 3 November 2010 (UTC)

Cite examples of incorrect usage of Puritan[edit]

<quote>The designation "Puritan" is often incorrectly used, notably based on the assumption that hedonism and puritanism are antonyms</quote>

That took me by surprise, I haven't noticed this. It's a statement that really needs examples I think. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Voigty (talkcontribs) 15:18, 7 August 2010 (UTC)

It may need a citation. I don't see that it needs examples. Charles Matthews (talk) 21:40, 7 August 2010 (UTC)

Puritan[edit]

You must keep in mine when studying the Puritans that they believed that they were on a mission for God and that everything they did was to create a "City on a Hill" —Preceding unsigned comment added by 67.251.81.222 (talk) 18:17, 19 September 2010 (UTC)

Government[edit]

Because the Puritans in New England established a theocracy with features that were to evolve into the current governing structures in NE today, there should be a section about how it worked. I find that words like freeman, commonman, selectman, assistant, duputy, General Court, etc. are not well defined in Wikipedia. There just does not seem to be a good article on the subject of early colonial goverment in the US, and I think the government of the Puritans in NE is important to understanding their whole society. --Ishtar456 (talk) 20:57, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

The Pequot War and Old Testament Practices[edit]

In the Pequot War the Puritans slaughtered and mutilated Pequot Indians believing they were doing God's service. The Puritans adopted old testament theology as justification for their killings. Killing and converting were acceptable to the Puritans. Cmguy777 (talk) 03:47, 13 February 2011 (UTC)

The Demise of the Puritans - Puritans Today?[edit]

If there are communities self-identifying themselves as practicing "Puritans" today, especially in Britain, I'd like to know any web-resources where any contact might be found. Any? 195.50.1.122 (talk) 10:31, 14 March 2011 (UTC)

Whitewash[edit]

Why has almost all mention of the Netherlands been left out of all the Puritan articles? That was a major episode that had an enduring influence on the Dutch and helped to harden the intolerance of the Puritans. Censoring all of that information, it was once here in good detail, is like pulling out everything about the Sermon on the Mount from Jesus articles. What horsepucky. --71.186.133.37 (talk) 14:54, 17 June 2011 (UTC)

If you have a reliable source that would support inclusion of the data, please feel free to add it to the article. TNXMan 15:23, 17 June 2011 (UTC)

This doesn't make any sense...[edit]

I think who ever changed the page to say this needs to be banned:

They were blocked from changing the system from within, but their dinos were taken by the nazi zombies to the Netherlands and later New England, and by evangelical clergy to Ireland and later into Wales, and were spread into lay society by preaching and parts of the educational system, particularly certain colleges of the University of Cambridge.

It's in the first section, second paragraph. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 74.69.94.164 (talkcontribs) 03:08, 20 September 2011‎

The vandalism as removed. mabdul 17:06, 17 November 2012 (UTC)

Social Consequences and Family Life[edit]

Hello, I would like to edit this section of the Puritan article by adding further information surrounding the importance of Puritan marriage, Puritan motherhood, and the complex yet related relationships between husband and wife, parents and children, masters and servants. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Meljo.adams (talkcontribs) 13:47, 16 November 2012 (UTC)

Please say what should be change to what. Also provide a reliable source. mabdul 17:04, 17 November 2012 (UTC)

Why is the puritan statement of belief not mentioned on this page?[edit]

This page includes no mention of the name Jesus Christ - a person whom is utterly central to puritanism itself. This is a serious flaw. If I'm not mistaken Puritans believed in salvation through Christ alone, not through personal holiness or other such things. This article mentions salvation twice and I am fairly certain each of them are flawed as well.

~20 May 2013 — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ragstorighteous (talkcontribs) 12:50, 20 May 2013 (UTC)

Historiography[edit]

"The conception of a Protestant work ethic, identified more closely with Calvinist or Puritan principles, has been criticised at its root, mainly as a post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy aligning economic success with a narrow religious scheme." The passive construction of this sentence leaves it unclear in meaning. Are there sources that can be cited for this criticism, or can the nature of the criticism be expanded upon? Is this perhaps referring to Weber, or critics of Weber? Canuklsa (talk) 10:52, 8 July 2014 (UTC)


Add more on important Puritan figures in history[edit]

By adding a section to the Puritan Wikipedia page about "Prominent Puritan Figures" I will be able to add more about Anne Bradstreet and the criticism that was written about her poems. By adding her poems with criticism,it will show how she was an important writer in history and was also a Puritan woman. I will be using an Early American Literature article that talks more about this. There is also another article called "The Influence of Anne Bradstreet's Innovative Errors" that goes into detail about Bradstreet being a feminist figure in American Literature. Along with Bradstreet, I found articles that explain how John Winthrop contributed to what America's government stands on today, love and Christianity. This can show how he was also an important Puritan writer as well. I will be supporting this claim with an article titled "Christian Love and the Foundation of American Politics". Agard5 (talk) 23:24, 10 November 2014 (UTC)

I added the section on "Prominent Puritan Figures" and created a bullet point of Anne Bradstreet and John Winthrop quoting and linking their actual Wikipedia pages. I added a brief description on why they are famous people. I will be doing the edits with criticism on their actual pages, which is why they are linked. Agard5 (talk) 09:34, 28 November 2014 (UTC)

Christopher Hill line doesn't seem to be objective[edit]

The line: "English historian Christopher Hill, who has contributed Marxist analyses of Puritan concerns that are more respected than accepted, writes of the 1630s, old church lands, and the accusations that William Laud was a crypto-Catholic:"

There doesn't seem any citation or grounds for marking Christopher Hill's views as respected rather than accepted, when other historian's aren't commented upon in the same manner. I would suggest: "English historian Christopher Hill, who has contributed Marxist analyses of Puritan concerns, writes of the 1630s, old church lands, and the accusations that William Laud was a crypto-Catholic:"

Then if a reader doesn't accept Marxist analyses they are free to make the inference themselves without the article prejudicing them. — Preceding unsigned comment added by ZephroC (talkcontribs) 16:16, 17 February 2015 (UTC)

Requested move 25 June 2015[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: Move to Puritans. Cúchullain t/c 12:38, 10 July 2015 (UTC)



PuritanPuritanism – This article is discussing Puritanism in general, not one single Puritan. --Relisted. George Ho (talk) 18:49, 2 July 2015 (UTC) Zacwill16 (talk) 15:03, 25 June 2015 (UTC)

  • Support per nom, although we could also move this to Puritanism. bd2412 T 17:37, 25 June 2015 (UTC)
    • On second thoughts Puritanism is actually a better title. I've changed my suggestion to that. Zacwill16 (talk) 17:58, 25 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Support – A sensible proposal. RGloucester 18:13, 25 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment: I agree with the spirit of the move, however I must note that Puritan currently discusses the topic from the point of view of the group (i.e. Puritans), and not the -ism {77 vs. 29 mentions}. If the article is moved to Puritanism, it will need some language tweaking, or should be moved to Puritans instead. Best, FoCuSandLeArN (talk) 21:16, 25 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose as the article is about the people, not the Puritanism itself. Calidum T|C 22:24, 25 June 2015 (UTC)
Just to clarify I oppose moving to Puritanism. Moving to Puritans I would support, however. Calidum T|C 13:40, 27 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose please don't change horses in midstream, the requested move is to Puritans which I would support but now you've changed it to Puritanism which I oppose with the same reasoning as Calidum. Pjefts (talk) 10:56, 27 June 2015 (UTC)
I hardly "changed horses in midstream". I changed it a couple of hours after initially making the proposal, when only one person had offered any comment, which was that Puritanism might be a better title. If you don't like it, request a move yourself. Zacwill16 (talk) 14:12, 27 June 2015 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

Clarity[edit]

In the 3rd sentence of the lead, "They took on distinctive beliefs about clerical dress and in opposition to the episcopal system, particularly after the 1619 conclusions of the Synod of Dort they were resisted by the English bishops." needs unscrambling. Johnbod (talk) 22:06, 25 June 2015 (UTC)