Question Description

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Respond to question-sets A, E, F, G and at least one other question-set. (250 word minimum for posting as a whole.)

A) Briefly describe the “Congregational” or “New England Way” of the Puritans. What did the Puritans see as their “errand into the wilderness” of New England? Were the Puritans in favor of religious tolerance? Explain.

B) What were Puritan attitudes toward the Rhode Island colony? How did Roger Williams differ from the Puritans in his approach to Native Americans and the issue of land rights? Briefly characterize Roger Williams’ critique of the Massachusetts project (or the Puritan New England Way), and Cotton Mather’s Puritan critique of Williams.

C) Describe Puritan interaction with, and reaction to, Quakers. How does this relate to the history of religious freedom in America?

D) The text asserts that “amid fear of religious decline and socio-economic change” the New England Puritans resorted to “a more insidious side of their theology.” What form did this take? Discuss.

E) Comment on the Martin Marty broadcast. What changes does he identify in the American religious landscape? What does he see as the significance of the 1960’s in the history of religion in America? He says fundamentalism is not the “old time religion”—why does he claim this, and do you agree?

F) Martin Marty claims that evangelical Protestants have focused on what he terms “private” and “personal” issues of morality—divorce, abortion, pre-marital sex, same-sex marriage, etc.—instead of more “public” issues of morality and ethics such as poverty, peace, social justice, etc., and have organized American politics along a vice/virtue dividing line. Do you agree with Marty’s assessment? Explain.

G) Based on your reading of “What did the Puritans Think about God?” discuss the role of apocalypticism and/or millennialism in Puritan thought and life. Mention some of the following terms/individuals in your response: Day of Doom, New Jerusalem, Cotton Mather, Jonathan Edwards, “God’s plan.” How did Catholics and Anglicans fit into these Puritan concepts?