David D. Hall, John A. Bartlett Professor of New England Church History, recently released a new book, Puritans in the New World: A Critical Anthology, to dispel commonly held perceptions of the seventeenth-century people we now call Puritans.
¡°The two imperatives I felt were to have a set of documents that were my personal take on the field, but that also responded to what has happened over the last forty years in the field,¡± said Hall during an interview with HDS staff writer.
Hall shows in his book that so-called Puritanishm was a diverse movement, and that there is contested ground within it.
¡°Puritanism was dynamic in terms of its own internal development, dynamic because of the strangeness of the new land, and dynamic because of large-scale political events, be they in Europe or in this country,¡± he commented.
David D. Hall, who taught at Harvard Divinity School since 1989, writes extensively on religion and society in seventeenth-century New England and England. He continues to study and write about religion and culture in early America, with particular attention to "lived religion," and is working on the development of cultural criticism in mid-nineteenth-century America.