The Puritans and Their Impact

About the conference: Just over four hundred years ago, in 1620, the Mayflower arrived on the shores of Cape Cod. Many of those on board had left England first for the Netherlands and then embarked on the transatlantic voyage because they felt they could not live within the theological and liturgical framework of the established Church of England. Within the next decades, these dissenters, known as the Pilgrims, were joined by other Puritans, establishing colonies along the northeastern seaboard of North America.

Many aspects of this migration have become part of the fabric of the story of the United States, yet this legacy is complex and deserving of further reflection. To shed light on the Puritans and their impact, and to foster informed discussion, the Meeter Center is organizing a two-day conference on September 24 and 25, 2021, at the Meeter Center Lecture Hall on the Calvin University campus. All are heartily welcome. In plenary lectures and panel discussions, expert presenters will focus on the theological roots of Puritanism and on the history of Puritans' actions and legacies in North America, including their relations with Native American communities.

Speakers include Margaret Bendroth (executive director (ret.) of the Congregational Library and Archives), Richard Muller (emeritus, Calvin Theological Seminary), Matthew Tuininga (Calvin Theological Seminary), Chad Van Dixhoorn (Westminster Theological Seminary Philadelphia), Abram Van Engen (Washington University in Saint Louis), and Adrian Weimer (Providence College). Additionally, the Meeter Center currently houses a Puritan exhibit, with several rare books on loan from Puritan Reformed Seminary's extensive collection. Don't miss this outstanding opportunity!

To watch the recordings of these conference sessions, check out our YouTube playlist.

Conference Itinerary 

Friday Sept. 24

12:45 PM - 1:00 PM Welcome and announcements

1:00 PM - 2:15 PM Presentation I: Margaret Bendroth

2:15 PM - 2:30 PM Break

2:30 PM -3:45 PM Presentation II: Richard Muller

3:45 PM - 4:00 PM Break

4:00 PM - 5:15 PM Presentation III: Adrian Weimer

5:30 PM - 6:45 PM Dinner

7:00 PM - 8:15 PM Presentation IV: Matt Tuininga


Saturday Sept. 25

9:00 AM -10:15 AM Presentation V: Chad van Dixhoorn

10:15 AM -10:30 AM Break

10:30 AM -11:45 AM Presentation VI: Abram van Engen

11:45 AM - 12:15 PM Concluding Panel; thanks and departures