[PDF Notes] What was the role of Puritans in matters of religion

In matters of religion the Puritans were fanatics. They were extremists. There had been Puritans even during the reign of Queen Elizabeth.

They did not accept the Anglican Church, which was essentially a compromise between Catholicism and Protestantism. They considered its creeds and public worship as too much like Popery. They advocated Church reform. Moreover, they had very strict views about life and conduct. They laid down very austere ideals of life.

They were against common pleasures, even innocent ones, e.g., drama and considered singing and dancing as immoral, and hence in the beginning the term ‘Puritan’ was a term of contempt applied to such extremists. We find frequent satirical references to them in the plays; of Shakespeare.

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