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The Crisis of British Protestantism
Author: Hunter Powell

ISBN: 9780719096341
Format: Hardcover
Number Of Pages: 272
Published: 17 March 2015
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.6 x 2.5
When Parliament called the Westminster assembly of divines, it knew that one of the most destabilizing elements of the body politic was an inchoate national church, where heterodoxy presented as much of a threat as prelacy. This book straddles a crucial divide in British History, as calls for religious reform and renewal mutated into political revolution in the years 1638-44. It seeks to bring coherence to a pre-revolutionary historiography that focuses on questions of conformity to and (semi-)separatism from 'the church by law established' and a post 1642 historiography built around a coarse polarity of 'Presbyterian' and 'Independent' and modern notions of religious toleration. The fundamental ecclesiological issue in 1638-1644 was the question of church power. Once Parliament conceded that ecclesiastical power did not reside in the diocesan bishop, the state, along with its leading puritan divines, needed to isolate where church power existed and how that power was executed. Parliament wanted a church that would stymie a clerical usurpation of state control, but could equally fend off the burgeoning call for separation of church and state. This book rigorou...

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