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The Cambridge Companion to Puritanism (Coffey & Lim)

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Cambridge University Press
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''Puritan' was originally a term of contempt, and 'Puritanism' has often been stereotyped by critics and admirers alike. As a distinctive and particularly intense variety of early modern Reformed Protestantism, it was a product of acute tensions within the post-Reformation Church of England. But it was never monolithic or purely oppositional, and its impact reverberated far beyond seventeenth-century England and New England. This companion broadens our understanding of Puritanism, showing how students and scholars might engage with it from new angles and uncover the surprising diversity that fermented beneath its surface. The book explores issues of gender, literature, politics, and popular culture in addition to addressing the Puritans’ core concerns such as theology and devotional praxis, and coverage extends to Irish, Welsh, Scottish, and European versions of Puritanism as well as to English and American practice. It challenges readers to re-evaluate this crucial tradition within its wider social, cultural, political, and religious contexts.

Table of Contents:

Introduction John Coffey and Paul C. H. Lim

Part I. English Puritanism:

1. Antipuritanism Patrick Collinson

2. The growth of English Puritanism John Craig

3. Early Stuart Puritanism Tom Webster

4. The Puritan revolution John Morrill

5. Later Stuart Puritanism John Spurr

Part II. Beyond England:

6. Puritanism and the Continental Reformed Churches Anthony Milton

7. The Puritan experiment in New England, 1630–60 Francis J. Bremer

8. New England, 1660–1730 David D. Hall

9. Puritanism in Ireland and Wales Crawford Gribben

10. The problem of Scotland's Puritans Margo Todd

Part III. Major Themes:

11. Practical divinity and spirituality Charles Hambrick-Stowe

12. Puritan polemical divinity and doctrinal controversy Dewey D. Wallace, Jr.

13. Puritans and the Church of England: historiography and ecclesiology Paul C. H. Lim

14. Radical Puritanism, c.1558–1660 David R. Como

15. Puritan millenarianism in old and New England Jeffrey K. Jue

16. The Godly and popular culture Alexandra Walsham

17. Puritanism and gender Ann Hughes

18. Puritanism and literature N. H. Keeble

Part IV. Puritanism and Posterity:

19. Puritan legacies John Coffey

20. The historiography of Puritanism Peter Lake.


"… no recent survey has done justice to the recent flowering of scholarship. This book now fills that gap admirably. It brings together essays from 20 authors, who focus their remarkable expertise in short but scholarly chapters." - Church Times.


John Coffey is an English historian. He has written monographs on Samuel Rutherford and John Goodwin, and is Professor of early modern history at the University of Leicester. His Persecution and Toleration in Protestant England, 1558–1689 is the first overview work on the topic since W.K.Jordan's 4-volume work The Development of Religious Toleration in England (1932-1940).