The Mayflower: 400 Years Later

Instructor:  Arlin Larson

  • Zoom Class
  • 6 Sessions – Thursdays, 10am-11:30am, Sept 17, 24, Oct 1, 8, 15, 22
  • $20
  • Class has begun, registration closed

In 1620 a small band of English refugees fleeing religious persecution landed at Cape Cod. Hounded from England, they had first settled in Leyden, Holland, more tolerant than England, but still not hospitable to a spirituality that was radically individualistic and local. At Plymouth, they were free to begin a new way of life unhindered by the British Crown or even by effective opposition of the indigenous people, the Wampanoag who had been decimated by recently introduced European diseases.

Augmented by a much larger emigration in 1630 to nearby Boston the Pilgrims pioneered a highly democratic and communitarian society that was to contrast starkly with the aristocratic and libertarian society created in the slavery-based American South. This course will first examine the social and religious controversies that caused the Pilgrims to flee. Next it will look at the colonists and their voyage followed by consideration of the indigenous people and their continent-wide decimation by disease. Puritan society’s development will then be traced as well as its contribution to American life as what Colin Woodard calls “Yankeedom.”

6 Sessions – Thursdays, 10am-11:30am, Sept 17, 24, Oct 1, 8, 15, 22

The Rev. Dr. Arlin T. Larson has taught Senior College courses on a variety of topics in philosophy and religion. He received his Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry from the Divinity School of the University of Chicago. He is now retired after a career in parish ministry, college chaplaincy, and college teaching, most recently serving First Congregational Church of Searsport, ME.