We continue our discussion with Dr. David Hall on the religious and cultural legacy of the Puritans—and on Mary Baker Eddy. Hall is author of The Puritans: A Transatlantic History (2019) and A Reforming People: Puritanism and the Transformation of Public Life in New England (2011). Topics covered in this episode include the theological concept of predestination and Eddy’s response to it, as well as the story of the Scottish Covenanters and its significance in her own background. Hall also comments on the legacy and shortcomings of “anti-Puritanism” in misrepresenting what it really meant to be a Puritan.
David Hall is a historian of early America and early New England in particular. He has taught at Yale University (where he earned his PhD), Boston University, and Harvard Divinity School, where he is now Bartlett Professor of Religious History, emeritus. Hall wrote about “popular” religion in his prize-winning book Worlds of Wonder, Days of Judgment: Popular Religion in Early New England (1989); revisited the political, social, and ethical practices of the colonists in A Reforming People: Puritanism and the Transformation of Public Life in New England (2011); and most recently published a magisterial survey in The Puritans: A Transatlantic History (2019).