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Abstract from Article

Puritan Jurisprudence: A Study In Substantive Biblical Law
Gatis, G J

Published: Contra Mundum, No. 12, Summer 1994.


Puritanism was a inter-denominational movement to continue the Calvinistic Reformation in the United Kingdom and later the British Crown colonies. Puritans sought an intellectual, moral, and spiritual 'clean-up' of institutionalized Christianity. Their standard of purity was the Bible. The most comprehensive but concise articulation of their ideology is the Westminster Confession of Faith, written by a symposium of 120 Puritan scholars from 1643-48. Although this Confession formulates a Presbyterian church government, Separatist Puritans, Congregationalist Puritans, and Anglican Puritans embraced the basic theology of this Confession. The end of Cromwell's Lord's Protectorate in 1660 marked the end of Puritan hegemony over British political, social, and ecclesiastical institutions. Although Jonathan Edwards, whose revivalist influence began in earnest in 1739, has been designated the last American Puritan. Puritan hegemony over Massachusetts society terminated around 1690, when the remnant of Puritan ideologues migrated from Massachusetts to Connecticut to found Yale.

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