Miller, Perry,1905–63, U.S. historian, b. Chicago. He received his Ph.D. from the Univ. of Chicago in 1931 and taught at Harvard from 1931 until his death. A towering figure in the field of American intellectual history, Miller wrote extensively, especially about colonial New England. In The New England Mind (1939) he argued that the Puritans had a coherent world view firmly rooted in theology and that religion rather than economics was the prime motive behind the settling of New England. Miller's work stimulated a renewed interest in American Puritanism. His other books include Orthodoxy in Massachusetts (1933), From Colony to Province (1953), Errand into the Wilderness (1956), The American Puritans: Their Prose and Poetry (repr. 1982), and intellectual biographies of Jonathan Edwards (1949) and Roger Williams (1953).
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Miller, Perry (Gilbert Eddy)(1905–63) literary historian, educator; born in Chicago. He was educated at the University of Chicago and taught American history at Harvard (1931–63), with time out to serve in World War II. He pioneered the serious historical study of colonial literature and theology in his most influential work, The New England Mind: The Seventeenth Century (1939), reinterpreting the Puritans through the lens of intellectual history. His studies of Jonathan Edwards (1949), and Roger Williams (1953) and other published works established Miller as a preeminent American intellectual historian.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.