Abstract and Keywords
The chapter traces the origins and development of Protestantism in the Dutch and British colonial world from the sixteenth to the mid-eighteenth century. While Catholicism enjoyed a huge head start over Protestantism in missionary endeavors outside Europe, Protestants began to challenge the overseas influence of Catholicism in principle and practice from the late sixteenth century onward. While New England Puritanism arguably made the most distinctive contribution to Protestant theology and the evolution of American thought and institutions, the chapter argues that Protestantism outside Europe was pluralistic. A variety of denominations and religious movements—Dutch Reformed Protestantism, Anglicanism, Quakerism, and continental European pietism—participated in the spread of Protestantism not only in North America, but in other parts of the Atlantic world as well as the Dutch dominions in Asia.
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