Predestination, Policy and Polemic: Conflict and Consensus in the English Church from the Reformation to the Civil War

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This important work refutes a currently fashionable consensus that maintains that the English Civil War can be seen as primarily the result of a Laudian and Arminian assault on a previously predominant Calvinism. According to this picture, the isolation of the court from Calvinist opinions, and the aggressive Arminian policies pursued during the reign of Charles I, ultimately drove previously law-abiding Calvinists into counter-resistance to the king and the church hierarchy. Arguing against sharp polarities, Peter White denies the existence of any sharply-defined Calvinist consensus into which Arminianism made deep and fateful inroads. The doctrinal evolution of the English Church is thus seen as a story to which theologians of contrasting churchmanship both contributed.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...White takes the reader through an erudite, understandable, and thorough discussion of the various positions taken on the doctrine of predestination in all of its various nuances. Practically everything you ever wanted to know about predestination as it was discussed, particularly in England, between 1500 and 1640 is illuminated by the author....truly brilliant exposition of a complex theological subkect....His care and thoroughness are breathtaking. His writing is provocative fruitful dialogue. Old theses have been challenged and new discussions will begin. White has stirred the waters and must be reckoned with by anyone seeking to get into the territory of theological discourse during the Tudor and Stuart periods of English history....White's book is a "keeper," and it needs to be consumed and digested." Sixteenth Century Journal

"White has given us a pioneering, scholarly, and admirable study of the academic polemics of predestinarianism." American Historical Review

"...this is a useful and significant study, one which students of the English Reformed tradition must not take lightly." Sixteenth Century Journal

"Peter White's first book, appearing shortly before his retirement, is an important contribution to the writing of English church history for the period it covers." Daniel W. Doerksen, Sixteenth Century News

"...historiographically subtle....a fine book that will be a point of departure for future work in this field." Michael G. Finlayson, Journal of Modern History

"White has done an impressive work in reading the Latin works of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century theologians and in analyzing them." John LaRocca, Church History

"This is a landmark study in industrial relations and will be required reading for anyone interested in the causes of strikes in modern industrial societies." Lowell J. Satre, The Historian

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521394338
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/2007
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Table of Contents

1 The polemics of predestination: William Prynne and Peter Heylyn 1
2 The theology of predestination: Beza and Arminius 13
Beza's doctrine of predestination 13
The theology of Arminius 22
3 Early English Protestantism 39
Hooper and Latimer 39
Continental influences: Bucer and Martyr 44
The Edwardian formularies 52
4 The Elizabethan church settlement 60
Returning exiles and doctrinal definition 60
John Jewel 69
Henry Bullinger 74
5 Elizabeth's church: the limits of consensus 82
Veins of doctrine 82
The changing face of Elizabethan Calvinism 90
6 The Cambridge controversies of the 1590s 101
The Lambeth Articles 101
Peter Baro 110
Matthew Hutton 117
7 Richard Hooker 124
8 The early Jacobean church 140
The Hampton Court Conference 140
The debate on Calvin 152
Remonstrants, Contra-Remonstrants and the English Church 159
Falling from grace 167
9 The Synod of Dort 175
The evolution of royal policy 175
Preliminaries 180
Doctrinal definition: the Five Articles 183
The first head: election and reprobation 184
The second head: the extent of the Atonement 187
The third and fourth heads: free will and conversion 192
The fifth head: perseverance 195
The closing sessions 199
10 Policy and polemic, 1619-1623 203
11 A gag for the Gospel? Richard Montagu and Protestant orthodoxy 215
The New Gagg 215
The York House Conference 224
The defence of 'orthodoxy' 230
12 Arminianism and the court, 1625-1629 238
13 Thomas Jackson 256
14 Neile and Laud on predestination 272
15 The personal rule, 1629-1640 287
Licensing policy 287
The regulation of doctrine 299
The personal rule in retrospect 307
Select bibliography 313
Index 327
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