How Puritan women debunk three Puritan stereotypes

How Puritan women debunk three Puritan stereotypes
Jenny-Lyn de Klerk Editor at Crossway and author of '5 Puritan Women: Portraits of Faith and Love'
14 February, 2024 4 min read

A new approach to learning about the Puritans

I hate to say it, but Puritan stereotypes – which go all the way back to the 17th century – are still going strong. It almost seems like no matter how many solid scholarly books are written about them, the stereotypes will live on. We like to be able to call things ‘puritanical’ and turn up our noses to people turning up theirs. But maybe what we need is an entirely new approach.

Though the average person may be familiar with Puritan men like John Bunyan or John Owen, they have often never heard of Puritan women. Yet these ladies were quite impressive in their own right, and looking at their lives and writings does a lot to put the misunderstandings to bed! Here are three stereotypes that I think are debunked by Puritan women as we examine how they simply went about their lives.

Stereotype #1:The Puritans were religious extremists

Out of all the stereotypes about the Puritans, I think this is the most common. Being a Puritan meant being intense – crazy even! Or at least that’s what people say. But when I first started reading the Puritans, I saw that they were actually notable for their moderate and reasonable arguments and ways of living.

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