Roger Williams and his Attack on Puritanism Essay

Roger Williams and his Attack on Puritanism Essay

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Roger Williams and his Attack on Puritanism


During the seventeenth century a group of Christians split off from the Anglican Church of England and formed their own theology know as Puritanism. The Puritans were made up of the middle-class teachers, lawyers, merchants, clergy, and parliament members. Joshua Miller explains how the Puritans, "equated the church with the body of Christ;" and further states that, "to admit everyone, even open and unrepentant sinners, to the church was to pollute Christ's body" (Miller 59). The Church of England corruption of this body was the main reason for the great "Puritan Migration" during the seventeenth centry, along with the fact that the King refused to convene parliament at the time causing an uprising against the Throne of England. [1] The Puritans were cast out by King Charles of England and sent to the Americas to start a new colony of their own. The Puritans came to the Americas with a set idea of union between church and state. In the patent given to the Puritans by the King a selct few men were given the power to make laws without consent of the commonwealth and allowed to confiscate lands from the natives. Roger Williams a man who openly opposed these kinds of injustices committed by Puritan leaders like John Cotton and John Winthrop. A Puritan that had turned Separatist, Roger Williams wanted no part of the tainted Church of England. Separatists completely severed ties with the Anglican Church and formed their own denomination with their own theology and system of beliefs. Williams' separatist views did not sit well with the Puritans and as a result he paid the price for his open rebellion against the Puritan acts in New England. The Puritan church and government banis...


... middle of paper ...


... his radical religious beliefs and his liberal political views which now live on in present day society.


Works Cited

1.Covey, Cyclone. The Gentle Radical A Biography of Roger Williams. New York: MacMillan Company, 1966.

2. Greene, Theodore P. Roger Williams and the Massachusetts Magistrates. Boston: 1876.
-Dexter, Henry M. As to Roger Williams and His 'Banishment' from the Massachusetts Plantation. Boston: 1976.
- Knowles, James D. Memoir of Roger Williams.
- Williams, Roger. "Mr. Cotton's letter Lately Printed, Examined and Answered." Narragansett Club. Providence: 1866.
- Winthrop, John. "Winthrop's Journal." Original Narratives of Early American History. New York: 1908 Vol. 1

3. Miller, Joshua. "Direct Democracy and the Puritan Theory of Membership." Journal of Politics. Vol. 53 Issue1 Feb. 1991 pp. 59. Jstor June 3, 2000.

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