John Bunyan The Pilgrim's Progress Analysis

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Any comprehensive reading of The Pilgrim 's Progress requires an extensive understanding of the religious framework within which John Bunyan was writing. Generally speaking, Bunyan fits into the group of people that are now commonly referred to as Puritans. In Bunyan 's time, however, 'Puritan ' was a somewhat ambiguous term that incorporated Baptists and Quakers, Ranters and other dissenters. While they shared a common goal of "purifying" the Church of what they saw as excess and materialism, there are many subtle differences between these religions ' theologies, methods, and relations to authority. Bunyan did not necessarily chose to label himself, but Greaves observes that he likely could have been described as an open-membership, open-communion Baptist. Generally speaking, whatever their particular differences, all Puritan theology owes a greatbt to the work of Martin Luther and John Calvin, two of the most influential theologians during the…show more content…
Bunyan draws heavily from both Luther and Calvin 's ideas, and their influence is palpable in The Pilgrim 's Progress. One of the hallmarks of Reformation theology is that it articulates a system of justification by faith alone, as opposed to justification by good works, as the Catholic Church once encouraged. For Luther, faith in God and the gift of God 's freely given grace erased the sins of humanity, rather than good works or indulgences issued by the Church. Though Calvin is famous for his very strongly articulated doctrine of predestination, which states that God has already decided who will be saved and who will be damned, Luther 's theology can also be considered to be predestinarian, albeit more generous than Calvin 's definition. The question of election aside, both maintained that humanity 1had wholly
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