Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

Godly Women in Early Modern England: Puritanism and Gender


This paper argues that Puritanism and gender interacted in dialectic fashion in seventeenth-century England and changed one another significantly as a result of that interaction.1 Such Puritan strategies as reliance on the experience of the individual, extensive use of literacy, and infusion of spiritual issues into all activities deeply affected women's spirituality and their conventional roles in the community. At the same time, changes in the traditional practices of gender altered the Puritan experience. Gender gave new reality to the Puritan emphasis on spiritual egalitarianism, the Puritan practice of godly communion and counsel, and the development of lay–clerical relationships. From the interaction between Puritanism and gender, new forms of reciprocity and alternative sources of authority emerged among the godly.

Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

G. E. Aylmer , ‘Collective mentalities in mid-seventeenth century England: I. The Puritan outlook’, Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, fifth ser. 36 (1986), 1–25;

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

The Journal of Ecclesiastical History
  • ISSN: 0022-0469
  • EISSN: 1469-7637
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-ecclesiastical-history
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 93 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 391 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 29th May 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.