The Puritans were a group of English Reformed Protestants in the 16th and 17th centuries who sought to "purify" the Church of England from its " Catholic" practices, maintaining that the Church of England was only partially reformed. [1]


Puritanism in this sense was founded as an activist movement within the Church of England. The founders, clergy exiled under Mary I, returned to England shortly after the accession of Elizabeth I of England in 1558.

Puritanism played a significant role in English history during the first half of the 17th century. One of the most effective stokers of anti-Catholic feeling was John Pym, whose movement succeeded in taking control of the government of London at the time of the Grand Remonstrance of 1641.

Puritans were blocked from changing the established church from within and were severely restricted in England by laws controlling the practice of religion. Their beliefs, however, were transported by the emigration of congregations to the Netherlands, and later to New England in North America, and by evangelical clergy to Ireland (and later to Wales), and were spread into lay society and parts of the educational system, particularly certain colleges of the University of Cambridge. They took on distinctive beliefs about clerical dress and in opposition to the episcopal system, particularly after the 1619 conclusions of the Synod of Dort were resisted by the English bishops. They largely adopted Sabbatarianism in the 17th century, and were influenced by millennialism.

The Puritans were in alliance with the growing commercial world, with the parliamentary opposition to the royal prerogative, and with the Scottish Presbyterians in the late 1630s with whom they had much in common. Consequently, they became a major political force in England and came to power as a result of the First English Civil War (1642–46). Almost all Puritan clergy left the Church of England after the Restoration of 1660 and the 1662 Uniformity Act, with many continuing to practice their faith in nonconformist denominations, especially in Congregationalist, as well as in Presbyterian churches. [2] The nature of the movement in England changed radically, although it retained its character for a much longer period in New England.

Puritans by definition were dissatisfied with the limited extent of the English Reformation and with the Church of England's tolerance of practices which they associated with the Catholic Church. They formed and identified with various religious groups advocating greater purity of worship and doctrine, as well as personal and group piety. Puritans adopted a Reformed theology and, in that sense, were Calvinists (as were many of their earlier opponents), but they also took note of radical criticisms of Zwingli in Zurich and Calvin in Geneva. In church polity, some advocated separation from all other established Christian denominations in favour of autonomous gathered churches. These separatist and independent strands of Puritanism became prominent in the 1640s, when the supporters of a Presbyterian polity in the Westminster Assembly were unable to forge a new English national church.

The Puritans were never a formally defined sect or religious division within Protestantism, and the term "Puritan" itself was rarely used to describe people after the turn of the 18th century. Some Puritan ideals became incorporated into the Church of England, such as the formal rejection of Roman Catholicism; some were absorbed into the many Protestant denominations that emerged in the late 17th and early 18th centuries in the Americas and Britain. The Congregationalist Churches, widely considered to be a part of the Reformed tradition, are descended from the Puritans. [3] [4] Moreover, Puritan beliefs are enshrined in the Savoy Declaration, the confession of faith held by the Congregationalist Churches, which they originated. [5]

Other Languages
العربية: تطهيرية
asturianu: Puritanismu
azərbaycanca: Puritanlar
беларуская: Пурытанства
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Пурытанства
български: Пуританство
brezhoneg: Puritanegezh
català: Puritanisme
čeština: Puritáni
Cymraeg: Piwritaniaeth
Deutsch: Puritanismus
eesti: Puritaan
Ελληνικά: Πουριτανισμός
español: Puritanismo
Esperanto: Puritanismo
euskara: Puritanismo
français: Puritanisme
Frysk: Puriteinen
galego: Puritanismo
한국어: 청교도
hrvatski: Puritanizam
Bahasa Indonesia: Puritan
italiano: Puritani
עברית: פוריטניות
ქართული: პურიტანები
қазақша: Пуританизм
Latina: Puritanus
lietuvių: Puritonai
magyar: Puritanizmus
Nederlands: Puritanisme
norsk nynorsk: Puritanisme
polski: Purytanizm
português: Puritanismo
română: Puritanism
русский: Пуритане
Scots: Puritans
shqip: Puritanët
Simple English: Puritanism
slovenščina: Puritanci
српски / srpski: Пуританизам
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Puritanci
svenska: Puritanism
Türkçe: Püriten
українська: Пуритани
اردو: پیوریٹن
Tiếng Việt: Thanh giáo
吴语: 清教徒
粵語: 清教徒
中文: 清教徒