The Golden Age of Piracy saw piracy and institutionalized religion attempt to create order within the vast new sea of challenges presented in the wake of the Reformation and the discovery of the New World. Piracy and religion both served as tools of the state used to assert policy and control over an ever-expanding world. At the same time each existed outside of the state and were yet directly linked to it. Like Kidd and his buried bible, these two concepts often seen as opposites, one moral and ordered the other chaotic and corrupt, became two sides of the same multinational phenomenon of rearranging world politics and control. The leading nations in Europe during this tumultuous and ever-changing era were all fighting for control of land, sea, and faith with little regard for how they accomplished this task, only that it be accomplished. England, Spain, and France as three of the leading nations in Europe were competing fiercely for control over what at the time was the world. The establishment of global trade routes gave new meaning to imperialism and European political disputes expanded to worldwide conflict that led to the capture of over two thousand ships on Atlantic trade routes alone during the Golden Age. The Reformation then added a religious dimension to these conflicts and offered moral justification for the actions of the nations involved. Piracy and religion offered two options for how to win at this new power politics game without ever directly getting involved and starting a war; Piracy did so with great force and violence, and religion by influencing ideals and asserting control over peoples’ moral code. Piracy at times took on religious undertones and became a sort of radical Reformation movement, while religion was able to use piracy as justification for the damnation of other faiths or states.
"Piracy and Religion: Navigating Their Connections during the Golden Age,"
Oglethorpe Journal of Undergraduate Research: Vol. 7:
1, Article 2.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.kennesaw.edu/ojur/vol7/iss1/2