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Puritanism - Religious Practice, Ecclesiology And Politics, Capitalism, Bibliography

puritans england reformed religiosity

Puritanism is the set of religious beliefs and practices retroactively ascribed to Puritans by modern scholars. Since Puritan was originally a term of abuse toward people considered excessively, narrow-mindedly, or hypocritically religious, not an embraced identity, the definitions of both Puritan and Puritanism have been and remain inescapably vague. Roughly, we may take the term Puritans to refer to the fervently religious, "godly" fraction of the English nation who, dissatisfied with England's imperfectly Reformed status quo, between the 1560s and the 1640s pushed for a further reformation of England as a corporate whole toward more fully Reformed ecclesiastical practice and for the infusion of their own ardent religiosity in the faith, worship, and daily life of all Englishmen. Puritanism, therefore, encompasses Puritans' theology and practical divinity, the quite divergent religiopolitical goals of successive generations of Puritans, and, more loosely, the cultural, social, and economic habits scholars have since identified as corollaries of Puritan religiosity and belief.

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