Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Leslie Lindenauer

Second Advisor

Dr. Wynn Gadkar-Wilcox.


This thesis examines the relationship between science and Puritanism in colonial New England during the seventeenth century and early eighteenth century by examining outbreaks of opposition to Puritan hegemony. It examines how the trans-Atlantic world of early modern science shaped the mind of Puritan elites to think concurrently in scientific and theological terms in defense of their faith, specifically how the application of scientific principles supplanted inward experience in pursuit of knowledge. Focusing on certain Puritan luminaries, such as John Winthrop, Increase Mather, and Cotton Mather, this thesis demonstrates that throughout the seventeenth century, Puritan leaders exceedingly defended their traditional form of congregationalism against opposition with a scientific mind . Additionally, this thesis utilizes a combination of sermons, journals, pamphlets, and publications, to uncover that for a short while in the colonial history of New England, science and religion coalesced for the betterment of both.