John Cotton (4 December 1585 – 23 December 1652) was a clergyman in England and the American colonies and, by most accounts, the preeminent minister and theologian of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Following five years of study at Trinity College, Cambridge, and another nine years at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, he had already built a reputation as a scholar and outstanding preacher when he accepted the position of minister at Saint Botolph's Church in Boston, Lincolnshire, in 1612. As a Puritan, he wanted to do away with the ceremony and vestments associated with the established Anglican Church and preach in a simpler, more consensual manner. Though he felt the English church needed significant reforms, he nevertheless was adamant about not separating from it; his preference was to change

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  • John Cotton (4 December 1585 – 23 December 1652) was a clergyman in England and the American colonies and, by most accounts, the preeminent minister and theologian of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Following five years of study at Trinity College, Cambridge, and another nine years at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, he had already built a reputation as a scholar and outstanding preacher when he accepted the position of minister at Saint Botolph's Church in Boston, Lincolnshire, in 1612. As a Puritan, he wanted to do away with the ceremony and vestments associated with the established Anglican Church and preach in a simpler, more consensual manner. Though he felt the English church needed significant reforms, he nevertheless was adamant about not separating from it; his preference was to change it from within. While many ministers were removed from their pulpits for their puritan practices, Cotton thrived at St. Botolph's for nearly 20 years because of supportive aldermen, lenient bishops, and his very conciliatory and gentle demeanor. By 1632, however, the Anglican church had greatly increased its pressure on the non-conforming clergy, and Cotton was forced to go into hiding. The following year he and his wife boarded a ship for New England. Cotton was highly sought as a minister in Massachusetts and was quickly installed as the second pastor of the Boston church, sharing the ministry with John Wilson. He generated more religious conversions in his first six months than had been made the previous year. While early in his Boston tenure, Cotton became only peripherally involved in the banishment of Roger Williams, Williams blamed much of his troubles on Cotton. Soon thereafter, Cotton became embroiled in the colony's Antinomian Controversy, when several adherents of his "free grace" theology, most notably Anne Hutchinson, began criticizing other ministers in the colony. While he tended to support his adherents through much of the controversy, it was not until near its conclusion that he came to realize that many of his followers held theological positions that were well outside the mainstream of Puritan orthodoxy, which he did not condone. Following the controversy, Cotton was able to mend fences with his fellow ministers; and he continued to preach in the Boston church until his death. A great part of his effort during his late career was devoted to the governance of the New England churches, and he was the one who gave the name Congregationalism to this form of church polity. In the early 1640s, as the Puritans in England gained power on the eve of the English Civil War, a new form of polity for the Anglican Church was being decided, and Cotton wrote numerous letters and books in support of the "New England Way". Ultimately, Presbyterianism was chosen as the form of governance during the Westminster Assembly in 1643, though Cotton continued to engage in a polemic contest with several prominent Presbyterians on this issue. As Cotton became more conservative with age, he not only battled the separatist attitude of Roger Williams, but also agreed with the severe punishment, including death, of those whom he deemed were heretics such as Samuel Gorton. A scholar, avid letter writer, and author of many books, Cotton was considered the "prime mover" among New England's ministers. He died in December 1652 at the age of 67, following a month-long illness. His grandson, Cotton Mather, also became a prominent New England minister and historian. (en)
  • John Cotton (* 4. Dezember 1585 in Derby, England; † 23. Dezember 1652 in Boston, Massachusetts) war ein englischer Geistlicher, Theologe und einer der führenden Köpfe der ersten Puritanergeneration in Neuengland. (de)
  • El reverendo John Cotton (4 de diciembre de 1585 – 23 de diciembre de 1652) fue uno de los principales ministros de la puritana Nueva Inglaterra, entre los que se encontraban John Winthrop, Thomas Hooker, Increase Mather (que se convertiría en su yerno), John Davenport y Thomas Shepard. Fue también el abuelo de Cotton Mather. Nacido en Inglaterra, fue educado en la Derby Grammar School, que en la actualidad es el Derby Heritage Centre y estudió en la Universidad de Cambridge, donde también trabajó como conferenciante principal; más adelante se hizo ministro en la ciudad inglesa de Boston, antes de que su puritanismo y sus críticas a la jerarquía dirigiesen contra él la atención hostil de las autoridades de la Iglesia de Inglaterra. En 1633, William Laud fue nombrado Arzobispo de Canterbury, y como otras numerosas figuras puritanas no conformistas, Cotton pasó a ser escrutado con severidad. El mismo año, Cotton, su familia y unos cuantos seguidores locales se embarcaron hacia la colonia de la bahía de Massachusetts. El movimiento congregacional Brownist que dentro de la Iglesia de Inglaterra tenía cierta autonomía, se convirtió en una iglesia separada. Debido a sus iniciales perspectivas acerca de la primacía del gobierno congregacional, tuvo un papel de gran importancia en las aspiraciones puritanas de hacer de Boston un punto importante para ayudar en la reforma de la iglesia de Inglaterra. Cotton es muy conocido entre otras cosas por su inicial defensa de Anne Hutchinson ya desde sus primeros viajes durante la crisis antinomia, durante la que ella le mencionó con respeto, aunque con el paso del tiempo él se opuso a ella. También es recordado por su papel en el destierro del teólogo Roger Williams reclamando el papel de la democracia y de la separación de la iglesia y el estado en la sociedad teonómica puritana. Cotton se fue haciendo cada vez más conservador en sus visiones a lo largo de los años pero siempre retuvo la estimación de su comunidad. El legado literario de Cotton incluye su correspondencia, un catecismo, numerosos sermones y el código legal teonómico titulado An Abstract of the laws of New England as they are now established. Este código legal provee las bases para el sistema legal del clérigo John Davenport para la colonia de New Haven, y fue uno de los textos utilizados para redactar el The Body of Liberties de Massachusetts. (es)
  • Fu coinvolto in numerose dispute teologiche nella colonia inglese di Massachusetts Bay ed è ricordato come un uomo di grande valore. Considerato il padre del Congregazionalismo in America, le sue opere sono state a lungo usate come testi di catechesi. Unì in un unico codice tutte le leggi della colonia e il suo lavoro fu la base del sistema legale di New Haven. (it)
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  • Painting by John Smibert
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  • Mary Hurlbert and Rowland Cotton
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  • John Cotton (* 4. Dezember 1585 in Derby, England; † 23. Dezember 1652 in Boston, Massachusetts) war ein englischer Geistlicher, Theologe und einer der führenden Köpfe der ersten Puritanergeneration in Neuengland. (de)
  • Fu coinvolto in numerose dispute teologiche nella colonia inglese di Massachusetts Bay ed è ricordato come un uomo di grande valore. Considerato il padre del Congregazionalismo in America, le sue opere sono state a lungo usate come testi di catechesi. Unì in un unico codice tutte le leggi della colonia e il suo lavoro fu la base del sistema legale di New Haven. (it)
  • John Cotton (4 December 1585 – 23 December 1652) was a clergyman in England and the American colonies and, by most accounts, the preeminent minister and theologian of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Following five years of study at Trinity College, Cambridge, and another nine years at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, he had already built a reputation as a scholar and outstanding preacher when he accepted the position of minister at Saint Botolph's Church in Boston, Lincolnshire, in 1612. As a Puritan, he wanted to do away with the ceremony and vestments associated with the established Anglican Church and preach in a simpler, more consensual manner. Though he felt the English church needed significant reforms, he nevertheless was adamant about not separating from it; his preference was to change (en)
  • El reverendo John Cotton (4 de diciembre de 1585 – 23 de diciembre de 1652) fue uno de los principales ministros de la puritana Nueva Inglaterra, entre los que se encontraban John Winthrop, Thomas Hooker, Increase Mather (que se convertiría en su yerno), John Davenport y Thomas Shepard. Fue también el abuelo de Cotton Mather. (es)
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  • John Cotton (minister) (en)
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