History Matters series - Putting the Congregation back into puritan Congregationalism

Thursday, November 12, 2015
Presenter: Francis J. Bremer
Portrait of an Old Woman Reading (ca. 1630-1635) by Gerrit Dou

The historian James F. Cooper examined in great detail the exercise of power by the member of puritan congregations in his study entitled Tenacious of their Liberties: The Congregationalists in Colonial Massachusetts. Drawing on his recently published book — Lay Empowerment and the Development of Puritanism — Dr. Bremer will discuss the importance of the laity in the actual development of puritan Congregational belief and practice. Using previously neglected sources he will examine how belief in the ability of ordinary Christians to read and understand the scripture led to a variety of practices such as lay conferencing, prophesying, and even preaching that were key components of early puritanism.

[]Francis J. Bremer is Professor Emeritus of History at Millersville University of Pennsylvania. He received his BA from Fordham College and his MA and PhD from Columbia University, while also studying at Union Theological Seminary. He has been a visiting scholar at New York University, Oxford University, the University of Cambridge and Trinity College Dublin. Dr. Bremer is one of the acknowledged experts on puritanism in the Atlantic world and has published numerous articles and seventeen books on the subject. His study of John Winthrop: America's Forgotten Founding Father (2003) was submitted for consideration for the Pulitzer Prize and won the John C. Pollock Award for Christian Biography. His recent works include Puritanism: A Very Short Introduction (2009); First Founders: American Puritans and Puritanism in the Atlantic World (2012) – a selection of the History Book Club; Building a New Jerusalem: John Davenport, a Puritan in Three Worlds (2012) – shortlisted for the New England Society in the City of New York Award for Non Fiction 2013 and the 2013 Award in Nonfiction of the Mountain & Plains Independent Booksellers Association; and Lay Empowerment and the Development of Puritanism (2015).

If you'd like a preview of Prof. Bremer, check out our video interview with him from a few years ago.


Thursday, November 12th
12:00 - 1:30 pm

Register through Eventbrite.


Portrait of an Old Woman Reading (ca. 1630-1635) by Gerrit Dou courtesy of the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam via Wikimedia Commons