Puritans in the New World

Thursday, October 3, 2013
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm (EST) Enter Classroom Enter Forum


Christine Heyrman
Robert W. and Shirley P. Grimble
Professor of American History, University of Delaware
National Humanities Center Fellow

About the Seminar

In 1630 the Puritans brought their proud, driving faith to the New World. Within a few years their skill in self-government and their refusal to tolerate dissent created a remarkably unified colony, a “Bible Commonwealth.” What were their religious beliefs? How did they practice them? What appeal did their faith hold for believers, and how did it shape the social, familial, and gender order in seventeenth-century New England?

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Assigned Readings

  1. "The Simple Cobler of Aggawam," by Nathaniel Ward.
  2. "Christian Calling," by John Cotton.
  3. "A Modell of Christian Charity," by John Winthrop.
  4. "A True Sight of Sin," by Thomas Hooker.
  5. "To My Dear Children," by Anne Bradstreet.

  6. Additional Listening:
  7. The Long Shadow: American Puritanism, Then and Now, Part 1 of 2.
  8. The Long Shadow: American Puritanism, Then and Now, Part 2 of 2.

  9. Edmund Morgan and Timothy Breen discuss American puritanism and its effects on American history and modern society. At the time of this interview, Breen was professor of history at Northwestern University, and a Fellow at the National Humanities Center (1983-84). Morgan was professor of history at Yale University, and a visitor at the Center. This edition of Soundings was conducted by Wayne J. Pond.