The crisis of British Protestantism: Church power in the Puritan Revolution, 1638-44 (Politics Culture and Society in Early Modern Britain MUP)

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9780719096341: The crisis of British Protestantism: Church power in the Puritan Revolution, 1638-44 (Politics Culture and Society in Early Modern Britain MUP)

This book seeks to bring coherence to two of the most studied periods in British history, Caroline non-conformity (pre-1640) and the Puritan revolution (post-1642). It does so by focusing on the pivotal years of 1638-44 where debates around non-conformity within the Church of England morphed into a revolution between Parliament and its king. Parliament 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. Saddled with the responsibility of re-defining England's church, Parliament called its Westminster assembly of divines to debate and define the content and boundaries of that new church. Typically this period has been studied as either an ecclesiastical power struggle between Presbyterians and independents, or as the harbinger of modern religious toleration. This book challenges those assumptions and provides and entirely new framework for understanding one of the most important moments in British history.

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About the Author:


Hunter Powell has his PhD in Early Modern History from the University of Cambridge and is an independent scholar

Review:


"This is an excellent book that will be required reading for anyone who wishes to understand the religious and. more importantly, the ecclesiological debates that roiled the English Puritan clergy in the 1640s." - Michael Finlayson, The American Historical Review, 2016


"...Powell has written a book that those concerned with understanding the internal dynamics of the Puritan revolution will need to read." - Grant Tapsell, Journal of British Studies, 2016


"... this is a fine work of scholarship, and it will surely become essential reading for those investigating the religious politics of the British Isles at a critical moment in their histories." - James Mawdesley, Reviews in History, 2016


"...Powell has provided provided a series of fresh and penetrating perceptions of which all students of Civil War Puritanism will need to take account." - Blaire Worden, History, 2016


'The crisis of British Protestantism is a valuable 'thick description' of the critical debate on church power in the mid-seventeenth century crisis. Powell's reading provides fresh insight into these critical debates and comprehensibly challenges much of the received wisdom on the subject.' - London Elliot Vernon, Journal of Ecclesiastical History


"The Crisis of British Protestantism is well-written, in places beautifully written... I heartily commend the careful reading of what is easily one of the most interesting studies in the history of ecclesiology in recent years and the single most significant study of the debates and personalities in the Westminster assembly in many years." - Chad Van Dixhoom, JETS, July 2016


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