Sunday, November 4, 2007

Another Crash Course in Puritan History

Back in September I shared how someone might become familiar with the outlines of the puritan movement's history by studying specific events (via Wikipedia). Another, equally effective way is by looking at important people. Here are ten (anti-puritans in italics):

John Field (1545–1588) – the brief Wikipedia entry belies his importance as chief organizer of puritan networks across England during the Elizabethan period

Thomas Cartwright (1535–1603) – divine, writer who locked horns with Whitgift and trumpeted presbyterian ecclesiology

John Whitgift (1530–1604) – Archbishop of Canterbury from 1583 until his death; most aggressive foe of puritanism during the Elizabethan period

William Perkins (1558–1602) – the first great systematic theologian of puritan Calvinist theology; also noted for his preaching and writings (for both learned and popular audiences)

Laurence Chaderton (1536?–1640) – divine, founding father of 'moderate puritanism' whose long life spanned Elizabethan and Stuart eras

William Laud (1573–1645) – Archbishop of Canterbury from 1633 to 1645; staunchly enforced a high Anglicanism in opposition to puritan sentiments; Laud is the main reason many went to New England for relief

Richard Baxter (1615–1691) – Civil War chaplain, pastor and prolific writer

John Owen (1616–1683) – easily the most prominent puritan theologian of the 17th century

Cotton Mather (1663–1728) – important New England minister and writer

Jonathan Edwards (1703–1758) – some consider the titan Edwards a 'neo-puritan' because he was part of a later generation of New Englanders, but his life and theology are consistent with the older tradition


Bridges said...

I find it interesting that the article on Perkins calls him (Perkins) a moderate, but the Article on Chaderton refers to Perkins as an extremist. I guess it just depends on where one stands...

Anonymous said...

Interesting how you listed Owen as Jacobean.

Chris Ross said...

Thanks, Anonymous. But that wasn't 'interesting' ... it was wrong! I wasn't thinking very clearly when I wrote that. I've corrected the post now. Sincere thanks for the heads-up.



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