In the American Grain Themes

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Puritanism was a variety of Protestant Christianity that came about in England in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. During the reign of King Henry VIII, the Anglican church was established in England as the official state religion, replacing Roman Catholicism. The Anglican (or, as it is called in the United States, "Episcopalian") faith was very similar to Catholicism in its rites, structure, and theology. Beginning in the later 1500s and continuing on into the 1600s, many English theologians began to oppose this tendency, using the work of such writers as Luther, John Knox, and especially John Calvin to argue that religion should be stripped of the decorations and rituals and hierarchy of Catholicism. God was immediately present everywhere, these "Puritans" (so called because they sought to purify the English church) felt, and all of the trappings of Catholicism were merely idolatry.

These Puritans were persecuted during...

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This section contains 922 words
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Nonfiction Classics for Students
In the American Grain from Nonfiction Classics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.