Puritan Stereotypes Assignment.docx

Puritan Stereotypes Assignment.docx - AMERICAN LITERATURE...

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AMERICAN LITERATURE: UNIT 1 Puritans Stereotype Assignment Assigned : Monday, Sept. 25, 2017 Due Date : Sunday, Sept. Oct. 1, 2017 Lock Date : Sunday, Oct. 8, 2017 Directions: please read the following two articles and then answer the 8 questions on the last page. Article 1: Puritans by Kay Kizer, 2004 The Puritans were a group of people who grew discontent in the Church of England and worked towards religious, moral and societal reforms. The writings and ideas of John Calvin, a leader in the Reformation, gave rise to Protestantism and were pivotal to the Christian revolt. They contended that The Church of England had become a product of political struggles and man- made doctrines. The Puritans were one branch of dissenters who decided that the Church of England was beyond reform. Escaping persecution from church leadership and the King, they came to America. The Puritans believed that the Bible was God's true law, and that it provided a plan for living. Puritans stripped away the traditional trappings and formalities of Christianity which had been slowly building throughout the previous 1500 years. Theirs was an attempt to "purify" the church and their own lives. Most of the Puritans settled in the New England area. As they immigrated and formed individual colonies, their numbers rose from 17,800 in 1640 to
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AMERICAN LITERATURE: UNIT 1 106,000 in 1700. Religious exclusiveness was the foremost principle of their society. The spiritual beliefs that they held were strong. This strength held over to include community laws and customs. Since God was at the forefront of their minds, He was to motivate all of their actions. This premise worked both for them and against them. The common unity strengthened the community. In a foreign land surrounded with the hardships of pioneer life, their spiritual bond made them sympathetic to each other's needs. Their overall survival techniques permeated the colonies and on the whole made them more successful in several areas beyond that of the colonies established to their south. Each church congregation was to be individually responsible to God, as was each person. The New Testament was their model and their devotion so great that it permeated their entire society. People of opposing theological views were asked to leave the community or to be converted. The doctrine of predestination kept all Puritans constantly working to do good in this life to be chosen for the next eternal one. Predestination meant that God had already chosen who would be in heaven or hell, and each believer had no way of knowing which group they were in. Those who were wealthy were obviously blessed by God and were in good standing with Him. The Protestant work ethic was the belief that hard work was an honor to God which would lead to a prosperous reward. Any deviations from the normal way of Puritan life met with strict disapproval and discipline. Since the church
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AMERICAN LITERATURE: UNIT 1 elders were also political leaders, any church infraction was also a social one.
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