Religious Reform Movement: Puritanism

Puritanism: a religious reform movement in the late 16th and 17th centuries that sought to “purify’ the Church of England of remnants of the Roman Catholic “popery that the Puritans claimed had been retained after the religious settlement reached early in the reign of Queen Elizabeth l. Puritans became noted in the 17th century for a spirit of moral and religious earnestness that informed their whole way of life, and they sought through church reform to make their lifestyle the pattern for the whole nation.

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Puritanism accepted the interpretations of John Calvin (1509-64) on the nature of an, free will and predestination, and other basic concepts. Puritanism became, after the restoration of Charles II as king in 1660, nonconformity and split into three major denominations-the Presbyterian, Congregational, and Baptist sects. The Puritans saw God as the awesome Father-God of the Old Testament and emphasized His majesty, righteousness, and control of the universe to achieve His Just ends. God’s maintaining and directing everything in the universe is God’s Providence.

Puritans were members of a religious and social movement of the 1500’s and 1600’s. The movement began in England and spread to America where it greatly influenced ocial, political, and religious institutions. Such religious denominations as Congregationalism and Unitarianism developed from Puritan beliefs. Puritan beliefs developed from the teachings of religious reformers, such as John Wycliffe and John Calvin. Wycliffe was a famous professor of philosophy at Oxford University during the 1300’s.

Calvin was a leader of the Reformation, the religious movement of the 1 500’s that gave rise to Protestantism. The Puritans emphasized Bible reading, prayer, and preaching in worship services. They simplified the ritual of the sacraments. They also wanted more personal and fewer prescribed prayers. The Puritans stressed grace, devotion, prayer, and self-examination to achieve religious virtue. The term Puritan was first used in the late 1 5001s to identify a party within the Church of England, the national church.

The party sought to make further changes in the church than had been brought about by Protestant reforms during the reigns of King Henry VIII, King Edward VI, and Queen Elizabeth l. Defenders of these reforms called the party members Puritans because of their proposals to “purify” the church. The Puritans shaped religion, social life, and government in North America to their ideals. Their strong belief in education led them to establish Harvard and Yale as colleges and to require a system of grammar schools in the colonies.

The Puritans organized their government according to the teachings that they found in the Bible and on the basis of their English experience. Over time, the term puritan has broadened to mean a strictness in morals or religious matters. The term is commonly applied to cultural traits found in the literature of and social attitudes shared by, the New England Colonies. Such traits include an emphasis on education and the glorification of hard work. Many social scientists have studied the role of the Puritans in the development of modern social patterns.

The German sociologist Max Weber associated the Puritan belief in hard work with the rise of the free enterprise system. Others emphasize the connection between the behaviors and beliefs of the Puritans and those of modern revolutionaries. The Salem witch trials were a series of hearings before local magistrates followed by county court of trials to prosecute people accused of witchcraft in Essex, Suffolk, and Middlesex counties of colonial Massachusetts, between February 1692 and May 1693.

The episode has been used in political rhetoric and popular literature as a vivid cautionary tale about the dangers of religious extremism, false accusations, lapses in due process, and governmental intrusion on individual liberties. [l] Despite being generally known as the Salem witch trials, the preliminary hearings in 1692 were conducted in a variety of towns across the province: Salem Village, Ipswich, Andover. and Salem Town. The best-known trials were conducted by the Court of Oyer and Terminer in 1692 in Salem Town.

Over 150 people were arrested and imprisoned, with even more accused but not formally pursued by the authorities. At least five more of the accused died in prison. All twenty-six who went to trial before this court were convicted. The four sessions of the Superior Court of Judicature in 1693, held in Salem Village, but also in Ipswich, Boston, and Charlestown, produced only three convictions in the thirty-one witchcraft trials it conducted. The two courts convicted twenty-nine people of the capital felony of witchcraft.

Nineteen of the accused, fourteen women and five men, were hanged. One man (Giles Corey) who refused to enter a plea was crushed to death under heavy stones in an attempt to force him to o so. The Cold War (Russian: 1947-1991) was the continuing state of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition existing after World War II (1939-1945), primarily between the Soviet Union and its satellite states, and the powers of the Western world, particularly the United States.

Although the primary participants’ military forces never officially clashed directly, they expressed the conflict through military coalitions, strategic conventional force deployments, extensive aid to states deemed vulnerable, proxy wars, espionage, propaganda, a uclear arms race, intense competition at international sports events, and economic and technological competitions, such as the Space Race.

Despite being allies against the Axis powers and having the most powerful military forces among peer nations, the USSR and the US disagreed about the confguration of the post-war world while occupying most of Europe. The Soviet Union created the Eastern Bloc with the eastern European countries it occupied, annexing some as Soviet Socialist Republics and maintaining others as satellite states, some of which were later consolidated as the Warsaw Pact (1955-1991).

The US and some western European countries established containment of communism as a defensive policy, establishing alliances such as NATO to that end. Several such countries also coordinated the Marshall Plan, especially in West Germany, which the USSR opposed. Elsewhere, in Latin America and Southeast Asia, the USSR assisted and helped foster communist revolutions, opposed by several Western countries and their regional allies; some they attempted to roll back, with mixed results. Some countries aligned with NATO and the Warsaw Pact, and others formed the Non-Aligned Movement.

The Cold War featured periods f relative calm and of international high tension – the Berlin Blockade (1948-1949), the Korean war (1950-1953), the Berlin cnsts of 1961, the Vietnam war (1959-1975), the Cuban Missile Crisis (1962), the Soviet war in Afghanistan (1979-1989), and the Able Archer 83 NATO exercises in November 1983. Both sides sought d?©tente to relieve political tensions and deter direct military attack, which would probably guarantee their mutual assured destruction with nuclear weapons.

In the 1980s, under the Reagan Doctrine, the United States increased diplomatic, military, and economic pressures on the Soviet Union, at a time when the nation was already uffering economic stagnation. In the late 1980s, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev introduced the liberalizing reforms of perestroika (“reconstruction”, “reorganization”, 1987) and glasnost (“openness”, ca. 1985). The Cold War ended after the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, leaving the United States as the dominant military power, and Russia possessing most of the Soviet Union’s nuclear arsenal.

The Cold War and its events have had a significant impact on the world today, and it is commonly referred to in popular culture. The 10 Commandments – God’s Revelation in the Old Testament The 10 Commandments are found in the Bible’s Old Testament at Exodus, Chapter 20. They were given directly by God to the people of Israel at Mount Sinai after He had delivered them from slavery in Egypt: “And God spoke all these words, saying: ‘l am the LORD your God… ONE: ‘You shall have no other gods before Me. TWO: ‘You shall not make for yourself a carved image–any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. ‘ THREE: ‘You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain. ‘ FOUR: ‘Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. FIVE: ‘Honor your father and your mother. ‘ SIX: ‘You shall not murder. ‘ SEVEN: ‘You shall not commit adultery. ‘ EIGHT: ‘You shall not steal. ‘ NINE: ‘You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. TEN: ‘You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neig The Seven Deadly Sins, also known as the Capital Vices or Cardinal Sins, is a classification of the most objectionable vices that has been used since early Christian times to educate and instruct followers oncerning (immoral) fallen humanity’s tendency to sin.

The final version of the list consists of wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony. The Catholic Church divided sin into two principal categories: “venial sins”, which are relatively minor and could be forgiven through any sacramentals or sacraments of the church, and the more severe “capital” or mortal sins. Mortal sins are believed to destroy the life of grace and create the threat of eternal damnation unless either absolved through the sacrament of Penance or forgiven through perfect contrition on the part of the penitent.

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