Paper Due Date
This paper will discuss the Role of Religion in New England life in the 17th Century. We will discuss how religion arrived in New England and how it spread. We will also consider the importance of literature in developing religion in New England and the relationship between natives and Puritans.
How Religion arrived in New England
Immigrants from Europe who moved and settled in New England in 1620s were on religious journey for freedom. Pilgrims from Plymoth in 1620s left England for a religious journey to ensure they could worship they way they wanted to without interference. These theologians soon started arguing with each other as the belief for freedom for religion and worship extended their supporters and to them. When two preachers from New England disagreed, the one with fewer followers left to set up their own congregation with followers on another town.
Importance of Religion in New England
Religion was of utter importance in New England as everyone used to attend and meet every Sunday for services. First service was at 9 in morning and second was at 2 or 3 Pm. Women and Men used to sit separately at meeting house and girls and boys were grouped together. In the time between services, visiting crowds were placed in halls, schools or tavern known as Sabbath Houses or Noon Houses. Overtime these places turned into social centers.
Religion and Literature
Religious Literature used to be popular, religious poetry was enjoyed people; sermons were eagerly read, like Anne Bradstreet’s poems. Practicalities of treaties were another form of literature which was popular among religious faithful. Guidebooks for moral behavior ranged on topics like choosing vocation, maintaining clear conscience and arrangement of personal devotions on daily basis.
How to die handbooks were most popular and dying had more role in public of 17th century New England than future centuries. Funeral elegies and sermons had importance in literary genre on general public. On burial days funeral sermons were not given by Ministers as they were incorporated into scheduled Weekday or Sunday lectures.
Spiritual autobiographies used to be form of popular literature. It customarily took recounting temptation form by describing how author overcame the snares of Satan. This sort of autobiography read like Tom Jones in Puritan version where sins of young men were recounted from their adolescence.
Religion and Natives
Native Americans were fined by colonial governments when they broke Puritan laws of religion like travelling on Christian Sabath. The relation was further aggrieved when the colonial government sold native prisoners into slavery and captured the children of natives to make them work in farms as laborers. Native American heads or leaders were called Sachems; these Sachems had economic and religious authority on the community. In some cases, these Sachems used to dispense rights of land use to member of their tribe and treaties were also negotiated with other tribes.
Religion played a crucial role in daily life in New England as puritans developed loyal following in many towns of New England with settlers. Religion arrived in 1620s through puritans who left England to preach they way they wanted without any involvement of outsiders. Religious Literature was very popular among followers and handbooks and religious autobiographies were one of the literary gifts to the New England followers. After capturing land and farms of Natives the colonized government enslaved the natives and forcibly changed their religion o Christianity.
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