Reformation without end

Religion, politics and the past in post-revolutionary England

Robert G. Ingram
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Reformation without end reinterprets the English Reformation. No one in eighteenth-century England thought that they lived during ‘the Enlightenment’. Instead, they thought that they still faced the religious, intellectual and political problems unleashed by the Reformation, which began in the sixteenth century. They faced those problems, though, in the aftermath of two bloody seventeenth-century political and religious revolutions.

This book is about the ways the eighteenth-century English debated the causes and consequences of those seventeenth-century revolutions. Those living in post-revolutionary England conceived themselves as living in the midst of the very thing which they thought had caused the revolutions: the Reformation. The reasons for and the legacy of the Reformation remained hotly debated in post-revolutionary England because the religious and political issues it had generated remained unresolved and that irresolution threatened more civil unrest. For this reason, most that got published during the eighteenth century concerned religion. This book looks closely at the careers of four of the eighteenth century’s most important polemical divines, Daniel Waterland, Conyers Middleton, Zachary Grey and William Warburton. It relies on a wide range of manuscript sources, including annotated books and unpublished drafts, to show how eighteenth-century authors crafted and pitched their works.

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‘Rich, sophisticated, finessed and fine-grained […] this is a highly successful book, and essential reading on the mental universe of eighteenth-century English divines.'
Mark Goldie, Churchill College, Cambridge
Journal of Ecclesiastical History of books

‘Ingram’s conclusion raises interesting and provocative questions and opens up new avenues for other scholars to explore further, especially extending to a trans-Atlantic context. The book should appeal to scholars of early modern England, religious historians, and political historians as well.'
Journal of British Studies

‘This is a clever book with many strands in play: we are learning not just about views of key arguments chiefly drawn from the seventeenth century, but also about the nature of the “Enlightenment” of the eighteenth century. Ingram explores the way in which eighteenth-century Britain was “revolution-haunted”, for the debates were not only theological in nature, but also political in considering the causes and consequences of the British Civil Wars.'
Taylor & Francis Online

‘This work is a remarkable achievement and an important contribution to intellectual, religious and political history. It will revolutionise our understanding of the eighteenth century and is a book that those working on the period will find indispensable.'
English Historical Review
January 2020

‘Ingram highlights a relevant feature of polemical dialogue: the tendency to punish, coerce, and stoop to caustic rhetoric. Observing this tendency throughout the chapters (along with Ingram's primary thesis regarding the intersection of revelation, reason, and history) makes the work a significant contribution to the historiography of the period. But further, Ingram's work carries valuable lessons for historians, theologians, and philosophers who traffic in ideas.'
The Journal of Andrew Fuller Studies
February 2021

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