Cotton Mather

  Male      American      Theologian

  Born : Feb 12, 1663  -
  Died : Feb 13, 1728

About Author

Cotton Mather, FRS (February 12, 1663 – February 13, 1728) was a socially and politically influential New England Puritan minister, prolific author and pamphleteer. Known for his vigorous support for the Salem witch trials, Mather also left a scientific legacy due to his hybridization experiments and his promotion of inoculation for disease prevention.

He was the son of Increase Mather, and grandson of both John Cotton and Richard Mather, all also prominent Puritan ministers. Mather was named after his maternal grandfather, John Cotton. He attended Boston Latin School, where his name was posthumously added to its Hall of Fame, and graduated from Harvard in 1678 at age 15. After completing his post-graduate work, he joined his father as assistant pastor of Boston's original North Church (not to be confused with the Anglican/Episcopal Old North Church of Paul Revere fame). In 1685 Mather assumed full responsibilities as pastor of the church.

Mather wrote more than 450 books and pamphlets, and his ubiquitous literary works made him one of the most influential religious leaders in America. Mather set the moral tone in the colonies, and sounded the call for second- and third-generation Puritans, whose parents had left England for the New England colonies of North America, to return to the theological roots of Puritanism. The most important of these, Magnalia Christi Americana (1702), comprises seven distinct books, many of which depict biographical and historical narratives...

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