20+ Difference between Puritans And Quakers (Explained)

Certain religious sects, such as Catholicism, Baptism, and Protestantism, are widespread today.

However, there are some less widespread religions whose adherents helped pave the road for religious liberty by fleeing their own countries in search of that liberty.

The Quakers and the Puritans are two religious communities that significantly contributed to the right to the religious freedom struggle. 

England’s oppression of these two religious communities prompted them to seek sanctuary in the American colonies.

They disapproved of the hierarchical customs and rituals that were prevalent in English churches. They emphasized the simplicity of their worship and their way of living. Nevertheless, these two people held opinions that were drastically different from one another.

Comparison Between Puritans And Quakers

ParameterPuritansQuakers
EqualityPuritans adhered to traditional views regarding the roles that males should play and the roles that females should play. No woman was ever permitted to hold the position of minister. It was strictly enforced that only men may hold positions of authority inside the church.Quakers, on the other hand, were committed to equality.
DiscriminationNative Americans were subjected to discrimination by the Puritans.Whereas Quakers helped Native Americans by constructing many schools specifically for them and giving them opportunities to hold positions of authority.
AmericansThey were discriminatory and displayed an air of superiority toward them.They had no problem with the Native Americans coming to visit.
Services in the churchThe Puritans held their religious services within the building that later bore their name.They did so in areas known for maintaining silence and stopped coming to church to attend these places of silence.
difference between puritans and quakers

Major Difference Between Puritans And Quakers

Who exactly are Puritans?

The Puritans arrived in Boston’s Massachusetts Bay in 1630 to establish religious liberty for all. In this time period, the pilgrims had already arrived in America and had the same purpose.

The primary goal of the Puritans, as evidenced by their name, was to establish a religion free of corruption.

Their differences of opinion with the Church of England were as great as those that plagued the pilgrims, yet they remained steadfast in their faith despite their differences. 

John Winthrop became the Puritans’ leader in 1630. More than a dozen ships transported John and his fellow Puritans to Massachusetts Bay. That colony’s leader was Winthrop until 1650.

All people were entitled to the opportunity to learn about God’s word through Puritan teachings. All parents were required to educate their children on how to read as a matter of course.

Every town with at least 50 residents had a school erected. There was no summer break for these schools, which were open all year round.

Key Difference: Puritans

  • The Puritans held the conviction that everybody was a sinner, and the only good people were the ones who followed their beliefs.
  • The Puritans believed that the fundamentals of Christianity had to be taught by the church’s ministers, and they practiced baptism according to their guidelines.
  • The Puritans adhered to an extremely strict and hierarchical ecclesiastical structure.
  • The Puritans believed they must perform their religious services exclusively within churches.
  • Puritans did not believe in gender equality. 
  • They adhered so tightly to the preconceived notions of gender roles that they prevented women from participating in church activities or casting votes.
  • The way they engaged with the indigenous peoples was also distinct. 
  • They were discriminated against by the Puritans, who did not see them as being on equal footing with themselves.
features of puritans

Who exactly are Quakers?

The English king gave William Penn permission to build a colony in 1681. He belonged to the Quakers, a well-known religious sect that was subjected to discrimination in England because of its tenets of faith.

According to them, everyone is created equal and has inherent goodness. They did not encourage violence, and they even refused to carry weapons or engage in any fights with other people. They were firm believers in the idea that every issue could and should, be resolved amicably. 

It was because of this that they were dubbed “The Friends.” When they lived in Pennsylvania, the Quakers believed in religious freedom for all people, regardless of their background.

Individuals may believe whatever they choose and communicate with God however they please. Thousands of people from across Europe flocked to these areas for religious liberty. They held that religion is not about what one says but rather what one does.

Key Difference: Quakers

  • The Quakers held the belief that God blesses and cleanses all people equally.
  • The Quakers did not practice baptism and did not believe in the practice of sacraments.
  • Quakers enjoyed the freedom of religion and were not required to adhere to laws they either did not believe in or considered unjust.
  • The Quakers typically did not go to the churches where the services were being held since they preferred to hold their services in more private settings. 
  • The Quakers had ceased attending church services because they found all the serenity and comfort they needed in their silent gatherings.
  • In the case of Quakers, this was not the situation.
  • The Quakers accorded equal value to all members of society and strongly emphasized achieving gender parity.
  • The Native Americans and their religious practices were welcomed with open arms by the Quakers.
features of quakers

Contrast Between Puritans And Quakers

Sin: 

  • Puritans- The Puritans believed all of humanity was fatally corrupt.
  • Quakers- Quakers, on the other hand, believed that God could be found within anyone.

Blessings: 

  • Puritans- The Puritans believed that most people were bound for an eternity of damnation, while God had chosen a select few to be saved.

    The predestined few underwent a spiritual transformation due to their witnessing and holy conduct during the process.
  • Quakers- The Quakers believed that each individual possessed an “inner light” that enabled them to see people in the most optimistic light possible.

Belief: 

  • Puritans- Baptism and Holy Communion were two practices that were very important to the Puritans.
  • Quakers- Because Quakers believed that all actions could become sacred if they were dedicated to God, they did not place a significant amount of importance on any sacrament.

Services: 

  • Puritans- The religious services of the Puritans were quite lengthy. Throughout them, a minister would explain passages from the Bible while also calling attention to the misdeeds of people in attendance.
  • Quakers- Meetings were hosted by Friends rather than services in churches. They had no clergy, so they just referred to their gathering location as “the meeting house.”

Roles: 

  • Puritans– Puritans adhered to a strict system where only men could vote for church officials. Anyone wishing to leave the Puritan society needed permission from the local church or risked losing all their possessions.
  • Quakers- On the other hand, Quakers enjoyed greater latitude in their religious practices. It was one of the earliest religious organizations to open its doors to female members and enable them to assume positions of authority within the congregation.

Bible: 

  • Puritans- The Puritans founded their legal system on the principles that they derived from the Bible and their religious convictions.
  • Quakers- The Bible served as a guide and point of reference for members of the Quaker faith.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. What is quietism?

Prior to the year 1700, early Quakers were willing to put up with raucous behavior that defied accepted social norms.

Quietist Quakerism emerged in the 18th century as Quakers turned inward spiritually and sought to convert others less actively. One’s membership was terminated if one married outside the society.

Q2. What was it about the Roman Catholic Church that the Puritans didn’t like?

Puritans in England in the 16th and 17th centuries saw in Catholicism the worship of idols, the accumulation of wealth, and a disregard for God’s purpose.

Only after they had formally separated from the Roman Catholic Church did the Puritans realize that the Church of England still contained too many vestiges of its predecessor. They felt that it should be changed.

Q3. What are the principles of Quakers?

The phrase “simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality, and stewardship” summarizes the key Quaker values, referred to as “testimonies,” and can guide a significant life.

Q4. What are the belief principles of the Puritans?

The Puritans believed that to be redeemed from a state of sin, one needed to have a covenant relationship with God, that God had chosen to reveal redemption through preaching, and that the Holy Spirit was the energizing instrument salvation used.

Q5. Who are pilgrims?

To go on a long journey, especially to a foreign country, for religious or moral reasons is to be a pilgrim. It was a boy who was born first following the arrival of the Mayflower.

Named after an ancient Latin word meaning “journeying from afar” and “pilgrim” by William and Susannah White, Peregrine was born.

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