What did the Puritans themselves and other Christian denominations originally called the Puritans and were the Puritans considered to be Anglican?

Aug 2013
564
I live in Chesapeake, Virginia in the United State
#1
Greetings Everybody,

1. What did the Puritans originally called themselves and did they called themselves "Puritans" even if they still considered themselves to be Anglicans?

2. What did the other Christian denominations (Especially the Anglican Church.) originally called the Puritans?

3. Why did the Puritans still considered themselves still part of the Anglican Church even though the Puritans had for the most part a different doctrine, way of life, and etc than mainstream typical Anglicanism?

4. What did other Christian denominations (Especially the Anglican Church.) considered which Christian denomination the Puritans to be apart of? Did other Christians denominations (Especially the Anglican Church.) classified the Puritans as Anglicans or not Anglicans?

Thanks so much in advance for answering all of my questions. I really appreciate it.
 
Jul 2012
730
Australia
#2
Martin Luther really did open up a proverbial "can of worms". In his times the religious world split between those supporting the Roman church and those protesting its corrupt practices. There was no uniform approach of the protestants, and pretty quickly they discovered that protestants among themselves had some very deep disagreements that made it impossible for some protestant groups to co-exist. Then there was the impact on secular life - giving people certain religious freedoms (interpreting the bible for one) encouraged secular actions that could not be accepted by ruling authorities. It became important for Luther and Calvin to organise their beliefs and practices into a "Confession" to identify acceptable reformed religious ideas and practices from "unsafe" and "irresponsible" ones. The Swiss reformer Zwingli fell foul of this arrangement.

The Church in England was more divided than on the continent on how far reformation should go. The "difference" exists today with the High Church (which some say is more catholic than the Catholics) and the Low Church that inherited a wide range of protestant ideas. Henry VIII was more interested in divorcing and getting his hands on the Church's wealth than he was on doctrinal issues (earlier, he was awarded the title of "Defender of the Faith" by the pope for his criticisms of Luther's work). In England it was accepted very early in the protestant period the connection between the Church hierarchy and the secular hierarchy, and that the structure of society was dependent on the bishops as much as anything else. So soon any protestant sect that challenged the authority of the bishops was marginalized. This is where the Puritans fit in - their name was given to them by others who saw their approach far too strict on certain doctrines and practices to be acceptable to the new protestant England. Discrimination increased and eventually such groups felt the need to leave - to the new world in America. Many smaller reformation sects died out in Europe but continue to exist in the USA.

England continued to be racked by religious differences - see Christopher Hill's The World Turned Upside Down for the confusing state of protestant sects during Cromwell's The Commonwealth. Formal Anglicanism prevailed after the Restoration (and called the established church) but problems persisted - so you had the Methodists, Congregationlists and Baptists(and Presbyterians in Scotland) developing into their own formal religious branches.
 
#3
I dont think they called themselves the Anglicans after the early 17th century after they felt the reforms of the Anglican church didn't go far enough. The Puritians generally were considered Calvinists forming their own churches with loose ties to each other
 
Aug 2010
15,105
Welsh Marches
#5
It is worth remarking that only a minority of Puritans left for America; and that the Puritans themselves were very intolerant, and tried to impose a considerable degree of social control when they had the upper hand (as during the Commonwealth, when the Puritans made themselves extremely unpopular with much of the general population). After the Restoration, the CofE was firmly set on a middle course (as Elizabeth had originally wished), and those who disagreed with that withdrew to form dissenting congregations. These later ran alongside the Anglican tradition, and noncomformism (as it came to be known) became a distinctive part of the English religious landscape, with there being 'chapel' alongside 'church' in many places. On the whole the noncomformists have been 'low church' with little time for ceremonial (or indeed for any form of beauty), but have lacked the narrow-minded fanaticism of the 17th Century Puritans. The Puritans originally wanted to make the CofE a full-blown extreme Protestant state church of a Calvinistic kind, and to 'reform' the whole of society accordingly; an absolute nightmare in my view, and fortunately they didn't succeed. One can see the same kind of struggle within Islam in modern times.
 
Aug 2010
15,105
Welsh Marches
#7
I wasn't saying anything about terrorism, but pointing to the similarity that the narrow puritanical Christianity of the Puritans bears to the Wahabbism that is now on the rise in Islam, displacing more humane and balanced forms of the religion. As for Calvinism, it is simply devilish, with its belief that God arbitarily condemns people to eternal damnation.
 

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