Chapter 1: God Summary and Analysis
To learn about the roots of American culture, the author proclaims in this first chapter that he will delve into its New England beginnings. Perry Miller found that New England culture was energized by religion. While the south suffered religiously early on, the church was the first and last resort of New Englanders. Religion in the south was later invigorated by evangelical revival in the early eighteenth century. The religion of New England was as the source of the purest story of Christianity in the nation.
Derided as fanatics by their fellow Englishmen, individuals known as "precisians" felt Christianity had been tainted by the Anglican Church. They resented the elaborate ceremonies of the Church and wanted a return to simple worship as established by the apostles. These "precisians" came to be known as Puritans. But the demands of Puritanical reform could not co-exist with the standards set by the...