A puritanical sense of purpose

Posted by Jessie on March 08, 2008 at 13:14:

In a text dating back to 2007 I came across the phrase "a puritanical sense of purpose" and I have no clue what it means... To give a little context, here is the paragraph in which it occurs (the text is an essay on protestantism in the UK)

"Today, when politicians glibly talk of our national identity, the Protestant inheritance is usually glided over out of obeisance to today's multifaith society. But that puritanical sense of purpose, which underpinned civic life from abolitionism to the Labour party, is an essential part of our national memory."