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English Puritanism (Social History in Perspective) Paperback – 26 Aug 1998

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Product details

  • Paperback: 257 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan; First Edition edition (26 Aug. 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0333601890
  • ISBN-13: 978-0333601891
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.5 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 715,600 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

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Product Description


'...both a useful introduction to novices and a thought-provoking analysis for those already familiar with much of the literature.' - J.A.I. Champion, Journal of Ecclesiastical History

'This study is a splendid addition to the reading list. It is written for intelligent undergraduates treading the unfamiliar ground of religious history and admirably performs this duty. Having had the pleasure of employing this text as primary reading for such a course I can say, without reservation, that Dr Spurr has plugged an historiographical gap splendidly and has seriously enhanced the literature on Puritanism.' - History, the Journal of the Historical Association

'Well-chosen quotations from contemporary sources bring out clearly the flavour of the period.' - R.C. Richardson, Times Higher Education Supplement

About the Author

JOHN SPURR is Senior Lecturer in History, University of Wales, Swansea.

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Pollin on 9 Feb. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ok, so the title is not he most catchy title in the world, don't let that fool you, this is and was to me, a very enjoyable book, an excellent introduction to a very misunderstood set of folk. Excellent for nearly anyone.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A Sympathetic Portrayal 23 Jun. 2009
By Quentin D. Stewart - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
From the Conclusion of the book:

This book initially suggested that Puritanism might be defined as that which Puritans recognized in each other. In its circular manner, such a defintion stresses the interaction of the spiritual and the social among the puritans; it asserts the mediation of individual spiritual experience through social exchange. It also allows for an emphasis on the puritans' common qualities of character, mind and imagination. The puritan impulse - that drive to show in their lives their strong sense of their own personal salvation - made it possible to recognize others who were also visibly worthy of election to salvation. The puritans knew who they were, ... in 1689 a puritan was still recognizably what he or she had been in 1603."

Spurr gives an interesting analysis of the Puritans as viewed by others, and a sufficient discussion of the role in the civil wars and their rise to power between 1649 and 1660. Spurr concludes that the Puritans ultimately chose personal integrity rather than political power as they suffered the Great Ejection of 1662. Spurr also provides an interesting discussion of how Puritans would reconcile the contradictory notions of predestination and the need for a personal conversion. Ultimately these men and women were more concerned with entering the kingdom of God rather than worldy affairs despite their constant interference in all things political and ecclesiastical. Spurr's work is not altogether unlike Ryken's portrayal of the Puritans in "Worldly Saints."
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