Religious communities have long helped cultivate humanistic practices. We don't often think of ourselves in this way—but what if we did?
If Americans of a certain age know anything about Puritanism, it is probably because they read something by the (atheist) historian Edmund S. Morgan, the great Yale scholar who died July 8. His book The Puritan Dilemma—which used the life of John Winthrop to describe the Puritans’ religious and political project in America—was widely assigned in high schools and colleges. I had the good fortune decades ago to take a graduate class from Morgan on American colonial history.