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Book description

'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.


'This is a particularly important volume that takes students beyond the traditional views of Puritanism to demonstrate its intense diversity.'

Source: The Historical Association

'… 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.'

Source: Church Times

'For … spiritual and … academic students of Puritanism, Coffey and his co-editor, Paul C. H. Lim, have compiled a reference work of exceptional scope and balance.'

Source: Church History

' … a fine addition to the series and a cause for celebration …'

Source: The Journal of Ecclesiastical History

'… a useful one-volume compendium of a notorious subject … an important work…'

Leif Dixon Source: English Historical Review

'… the whole volume is an excellent introduction to early modern Puritanism which demonstrates its rich diversity, impact and legacy in this period and beyond.'

Kenneth Gibson Source: History

'… an excellent overview … both a perfect introduction for the undergraduate student and useful to the specialist.'

Kyle DiRoberto Source: Sixteenth Century Journal

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