8 - State Religion and Puritan Resistance in Early Seventeenth-Century England  pp. 207-250

By Paul S. Seaver

Image View Previous Chapter Next Chapter

Late in the 1640s, an anonymous author published an account of what he termed the eleventh persecution of the Church, particularly in London, by the “Puritan Faction (so long lying like the Canaanites, as thornes in the sides of our Israel)”:

And what havoc hath been made among the Sheep, since the City-Puritan Tumults cried out no Bishops, and armed fury hath forced thousands of the Clergy from their Flocks; the almost ruins of the Church and of three Kingdoms sufficiently witnesses; a just judgment of God upon a People long contending with their Priests and mocking, and misusing the Prophets and messengers of God, till like the Jews, the wrath of God fell upon them, … and all this vengeance executed by a generation of Vipers, styling themselves … the only people of God, the meek of the earth, Christ's little flock, weak Brethren.

Such a calamity was all the more remarkable in the view of the anonymous author because “all sorts of People account[ed] the Puritan faction, a simple inconsiderate party, well meaning people, tender conscienced Christians, such as deserved pity rather than punishment, little remembering our Saviour's caveat against wolves in sheep's clothing.”

Whether the “Puritan faction” were wolves in sheep's clothing or a generation of vipers depended largely on one's allegiances; it could be argued that, being the meek, they had indeed inherited the earth, or at least for a moment that corner called England.


Reference Title: Part 1

Reference Type: further-reading

Balzer, Marjorie Mandelstam, ed. Russian Traditional Culture: Religion, Gender, and Customary Lawd. Armonk, NY, and London, 1992
Carlson, E. J., ed. Religion and the English People, 1500–1640: New Voices, New Perspectives. Kirksville, MO, 1998
Collinson, Patrick. The Religion of Protestants: The Church in English Society 1559–1625. Oxford, 1982
Frijhoff, Willem. Wegen van Evert Willemsz. Een Hollands Weeskind op Zoek Naar Zichzelf. Nijmegen, 1995
Haigh, Christopher. English Reformations: Religion, Politics, and Society under the Tudors. Oxford, 1993
Heller, Wolfgang. Die Moskauer “Eiferer für die Frommigkeit” zwischen Staat und Kirche (1642–1652). Wiesbaden, 1988
Johnson, David, Andrew J. Nathan, and Evelyn Rawski, eds. Popular Culture in Late Imperial China. Berkeley, 1985
Kaplan, Benjamin. Calvinists and Libertines. Confession and Community in Utrecht, 1578–1620. Oxford, 1995
Litzenberger, Caroline. The English Reformation and the Laity: Gloucestershire 1540–1580. Cambridge, 1997
Liu, Kwang-Ching, ed. Orthodoxy in Late Imperial China. Berkeley, 1990
Meyendorff, Paul. Russia, Ritual, and Reform. The Liturgical Reforms of Nikon in the Seventeenth Century. Crestwood, NY, 1991
Pollmann, Judith. Religious Choice in the Dutch Republic. The Reformation of Arnoldus Buchelius (1565–1641). Manchester and New York, 1999
Ter Haar, B. J. The White Lotus Teachings in Chinese Religious History. Leiden, 1992
Van Rooden, Pieter. Religieuze Regimes. Over Godsdienst en Maatschappij in Nederland, 1570–1990. Amsterdam, 1996

Reference Title: Part 2

Reference Type: further-reading

Baron, Samuel H., and Nancy Shields Kollmann, eds. Religion and Culture in Early Modern Russia and Ukraine. DeKalb, IL, 1997
Benedict, Philip. The Huguenot Population of France, 1600–1685. The Demographic Fate and Customs of a Religious Minority. Philadelphia, 1991
Brook, Timothy. Praying for Power: Buddhism and the Formation of Gentry Society in Late-Ming China. Cambridge, MA, 1993
Davies, Julian. The Caroline Captivity of the Church: Charles I and the Remoulding of Anglicanism. Oxford, 1992
Ferrell, Lori Anne. Government by Polemic: James I, the King's Preachers, and the Rhetorics of Conformity, 1603–1625. Stanford, CA, 1998
Gudziak, Boris A. Crisis and Reform. The Kyivan Metropolitanate, the Patriarchate of Constantinople, and the Genesis of the Union of Brest. Cambridge, MA, 1998
Hrushevsky, Mykhailo. History of Ukraine-Rus': Volume 7. The Cossack Age to 1625. Toronto, 1999
Mentzer, Raymond, ed. Sin and the Calvinists: Morals Control and the Consistory in the Reformed Tradition. Kirksville, MO, 1994
Prestwich, Menna, ed. International Calvinism, 1541–1715. Oxford, 1985
Schilling, Heinz. Religion, Culture and the Emergence of Early Modern Society. Leiden, 1992
Ševčenko, Ihor. Ukraine between East and West: Essays on Cultural History to the Early Eighteenth Century. Edmonton and Toronto, 1996
Thompson, Laurence G. Chinese Religion: An Introduction, 4th ed. Belmont, 1989
Tyacke, Nicholas. Anti-Calvinists: The Rise of English Arminianism, c. 1590–1640. Oxford, 1987
Watson, James L., and Evelyn Rawski, eds. Death Ritual in Late Imperial and Modern China. Berkeley, 1988
Webster, Tom. Godly Clergy in Early Stuart England: The Caroline Puritan Movement, c. 1620–1643. Cambridge, 1997
Yang, C. K. Religion in Chinese Society. Berkeley, 1961

Reference Title: part 3

Reference Type: further-reading

Anisimov, Evgenii V. The Reforms of Peter the Great: Progress Through Coercion in Russia. Armonk, NY, 1993
Bell, Catherine. Ritual Theory, Ritual Practice. New York, 1992
Bushkovitch, Paul. Religion and Society in Russia: The Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries. New York, 1992
Duffy, Eamon. The Stripping of the Altars: Traditional Religion in England, c. 1400–c. 1580. New Haven, CT, 1992
Hutton, Ronald. The Stations of the Sun: A History of the Ritual Year in Britain. Oxford, 1996
Kamen, Henry. The Phoenix and the Flame: Catalonia and the Counter-Reformation. New Haven, CT, 1993
Karant-Nunn, Susan. The Reformation of Ritual: An Interpretation of Early Modern Germany. London and New York, 1997
Michels, George B. At War with the Church. Religious Dissent in Seventeenth-Century Russia. Stanford, CA, 1999
Moreton, C. E. The Townshends and Their World. Gentry, Law, and Land in Norfolk, c. 1450–1551. Oxford, 1992
Muir, Edward. Ritual in Early Modern Europe. Cambridge, 1997
Myers, David. ‘Poor Sinning Folk’: Confession and Conscience in Counter-Reformation Germany. Ithaca, NY, 1996
Nalle, Sara T. God in La Mancha: Religious Reform and the People of Cuenca, 1500–1650. Baltimore and London, 1992
Nichols, Anne Eljenholm. Seeable Signs: The Iconography of the Seven Sacraments, 1350–1544. Woodbridge, Suffolk, 1994
Okenfuss, Max J. The Rise and Fall of Latin Humanism in Early-Modern Russia: Pagan Authors, Ukrainians and the Resiliency of Muscovy. Leiden, 1995
Poska, Allyson M. Regulating the People: The Catholic Reformation in Seventeenth-Century Spain. Leiden, 1998
Scribner, R. W. Popular Culture and Popular Movements in Reformation Germany. London, 1987

Reference Title: Epilogue

Reference Type: further-reading

Hutton, Ronald. The Rise and Fall of Merry England: The Ritual Year, 1400–1700. Oxford, 1994
Orme, Nicholas. The Saints of Cornwall. Oxford, 2000
Whiting, Robert. The Blind Devotion of the People: Popular Religion and the English Reformation. Cambridge, 1989