Why did Hutchinson's teachings threaten Puritan theology?

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thetall | (Level 3) Educator

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Puritanism is a Protestant group that sought to “purify” the Roman Catholic Church in England. The religion affirms that all men have sinned due to the Original sin of Adam and that God selects people to save (elect). According to the Puritans it is the elect that will make it to heaven while the rest will be damned to hell.

Anne Hutchinson threatened Puritanism because of her personal understanding and beliefs about the religion. She was very vocal about her opinions and this earned her a following comprising of both men and women in the Massachusetts Bay Colony who sought her interpretations.

John Winthrop the first Massachusetts Bay Governor had a vision to establish the area under Puritan ideologies. His group of followers affirmed that a member who was a believer had an opportunity to become one of the elect through performing certain activities. These activities were suggested by the church and the established political institution. Anne Hutchinson, on the other hand, supported the original version of Puritanism, asserting that the elect only earned such a status through God’s grace which no set of activities could achieve. Hutchinson further affirmed that she could tell people who belonged to this saved group. She also supported the idea of individualism which at the time was in contrast with the legal situation where a married woman did not exist separately from her husband. It was her opinions that brought her into serious conflict with the ruling elite led by Winthrop and his Puritan followers who viewed her ideas as an affront to their beliefs and religion.

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