Title: Choose an appropriate
ultimately happened to the Puritan
era. We have to remember that
theirs was a religious, not a political agenda; moral and theological
principles were involved, and from their perspective, there was no
compromise–God came first.
But the Puritan
project could not last. Why? The irony resulting from the City on the Hill
vision of Manifest Destiny is that a radical form of liberal individualism
started to develop from the Puritans very thorough, intellectual
readings/applications of holy scripture. Furthermore, we must not forget that
as new communities sprang forth in colonial times, there was a HUGE,
unacknowledged emphasis on acquiring new land and resources. (For a hint of what was to come, revisit what
Bradford says about his new community on pp. 89-90.)
Your writing prompt first
involves your chewing on a socio-political idea and secondly asks you to
address two questions.
First the idea: Critic Perry Miller points out that it is a sort of human law that
as societies push out toward exploring and conquering a new frontier, citizens
are drawn away from their controlled, civilized communities. This is a frontier effect. People begin to
seek material profit more than religion and salvation. As people move to a more materialistic,
survivalist, me-first consciousness, they seek a simpler, less intellectualized
way of expressing religion. You might
even say that the simplified, unexamined sort of Christianity that
flourished–especially in rural areas after Puritanisms demise–is the
beginning of what we now know as the more fundamentalist strains of
Christianity. What do you think about this theory?
Secondly: Think about todays brand of Christianity. How do you explain what has happened to the Christian notion of God?