Bunyan, John

Bunyan, John

biographical name


John Bunyan, pencil drawing on vellum by Robert White; in the British Museum, London.—Courtesy of the trustees of the British Museum

(born November 1628, Elstow, Bedfordshire, Eng.—died Aug. 31, 1688, London) English minister and author. Bunyan encountered the seething religious life of various left-wing sects while serving in Oliver Cromwell's army in the English Civil Wars. He underwent a period of spiritual crisis, converted to Puritanism, and became a preacher. After the Restoration, he was jailed as a Nonconformist for 12 years, during which he wrote his spiritual autobiography, Grace Abounding (1666). He is best known for The Pilgrim's Progress (1678–84), a religious allegory expressing the Puritan religious outlook. A symbolic vision of the character Christian's pilgrimage through life, it was at one time second only to the Bible in popularity among ordinary readers. Despite his ministerial responsibilities, he published numerous works in his last 10 years.

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