What are at least 4 Puritan beliefs?

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clairewait eNotes educator| Certified Educator

First of all, the Puritans formed as a group whose purpose was to "purify" the Church of England.

They believed:

  • that all humans were born evil (rather than good) and deserved eternal damnation.
  • in the mercy of God, and that some people ("The Elect") were chosen to be saved by the death of Jesus Christ.

Their big question was: How do you know whether you are "saved" or "damned?"  Answer: Ministers, public officials, and the wealthy acted as if their salvation was already secure and lived in hypocrisy.  Meanwhile, everyone else lived in fear of God, trying always to earn salvation through goodness.

Politically speaking:

  • Puritans believed that a covenant existed between God and humanity.
  • Therefore, people should freely enter into agreements concerning government.
  • However, government was undemocratic because "The Elect" had the most influence over religious and therefore political matters.
  • The Church and the government were nearly one and the same.


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