The congregationalist divines and the establishment of church and
magistrate in Cromwellian England
This chapter charts the various experiments by the leading ‘magisterial’
congregationalist ministers, in the 1640s called the ‘Dissenting Brethren’,
to establish a version of the New England model of church and state in
interregnum England. It looks at the political theology of these
congregationalists in regard to the magistrate and then charts the various
programmes and confessions advanced by the congregationalists to achieve a
national religious settlement. The chapter explores the tensions between the
congregationalists’ goals: the desire to preserve liberty of conscience for
those holding to the foundations of sound Christian doctrine with the need
to define what the boundaries of that doctrine were. This attempt culminated
in the ‘Savoy Declaration’ of 1658, the political theology of which is
analysed using sermons and other contemporary literature.
This chapter focuses on autobiographical material left by the episcopate of
the Church of England during the early years of the Restoration. Reassessing
the use of autobiographical material, this chapter analyses the narratives
of suffering and survival found in the writings of the Restoration
episcopate. These narratives are used to explore how the Restoration bishops
used their experiences of the interregnum proscription of the traditional
Church of England as a basis to rebuild the polity of the Restored church.
It is argued that the first generation of Restoration bishops betrayed a
commonality in this regard that is often dismissed in the
Two-kingdoms theory, ‘Erastianism’ and the Westminster assembly debate on
church and state, c. 1641–48
This chapter seeks to analyse the debates between presbyterian political
theology and the Long Parliament in the mid-1640s. It sets the background of
this debate in continental Reformed theology and argues that the clash
between parliamentary ‘Erastianism’ and the presbyterian perspective of
two-kingdom theory reveals some of the underlying contradictions within the
parliamentarian project of godly rule. The slightly different version of
two-kingdom theory held by the congregationalists is also explored. The
chapter shows how the Long Parliament grasped its way to an ‘Erastian’
solution by reference to differing ideas of the church–state relationship
found within the Reformed tradition. In conclusion, the chapter looks at how
the presbyterian clergy conceded to Parliament and how interregnum
governments retreated from a fully Erastian position.
In the Middle Ages the status of women in the Jewish community underwent a real and fundamental change. Rabbi Solomon ben Isaac had recognized that women conducted business within the community and with Christians, and in his opinion this did not present a problem. The economic activities of Jewish women in northern France and Germany centred on small loans, made on the basis of pledges, to Christian women, who used the money to finance their routine household expenses. Licoricia of Winchester's saga illustrates how the favourable economic status of a Jewish woman in the Middle Ages could also affect her social status in England in general and in the Jewish community in particular. Another Jewish woman, Chera of Winchester, cooperated economically with the Bishop of Winchester, Peter des Roches.
This conclusion presents some closing thoughts on the concepts covered in the preceding chapters of this book. The book explores ecclesiastical reform as a religious idea and a movement against the backdrop of social and religious change in later tenth- and eleventh-century Europe. It seeks to place the relationship between reform and the papacy in the context of the debate about 'transformation' in its many and varied forms. There has been considerable emphasis on how the papacy took an increasingly active part in shaping the direction of reform as well as shaping society. The reform movement left an indelible mark on western European society, and its repercussions would be felt for centuries. The challenge that faced the reformers of the eleventh century, to renew the Church and Christian life, was ultimately the wholesale reinvention of Latin European society.
The status of the woman within a newly formed family unit is dependent on a number of factors, the most important of which are her economic power and her position within the marital relationship. This chapter explores the legal structures underpinning women's status within the family unit. The improvement in their economic status had profound effects on women's social standing. The combination of a change in the marriage ceremony and a more exacting social attitude brought about a complete transformation in the financial status of women. The twelfth century witnessed fundamental changes in the status of Jewish women as far as their relationships with their husbands and within the family is concerned. In all areas where Jews lived among Christians, they adapted their patterns of family life to the life style of their environment.
This chapter examines the different approaches to femininity displayed by the men. It presents four paradigms that are the outcome of research blending questions raised within the spheres of gender research and feminist theory with the research methodology of social history. They are the family paradigm, negative male paradigm, Hasidic paradigm, and community paradigm. Rabbi Solomon ben Isaac's entire oeuvre points to the central role of the family and particularly the key position and importance of the woman as the pillar of the Jewish family. In the sections of Sefer Hasidim that describe how a man progresses along the Hasidic path, coping with the female presence, and the constant danger on account of the strong sexual desire is always aroused. In many of the sources the attitude towards women stems from the male sages' conviction that the interests of the community must be given the highest priority.
From the beginning of the twelfth century, Jewish society was threatened by the Christians. The Jews felt that there could be a recurrence of attacks by Christians as well as attempts to force them to convert to Christianity. Despite its popularity, the Midrash had less impact on the Jews of the Middle Ages than the story of 'the mother and her sons', a well known example of Jewish martyrdom. While the attitude towards the anusot is not positive, Rabbenu Asher ben Yechiel does give them the chance to come back into the fold of Judaism without calling attention to their non-fulfilment of the obligation to kill themselves al kiddush haShem or making this an obstacle to their return. All the genres of Jewish writing in the Middle Ages retain the central role of women in the acts of mavet al kiddush haShem, even though they were all written by men.
Georges Duby argued that at the heart of changes in marriage, from the looser arrangements of the earlier middle ages to the monogamous tradition increasingly supervised by the Church, there was an important new emphasis on hierarchy. Throughout the earlier middle ages and well into the eleventh century, marriage was not considered to be a sacrament, and in fact was something over which the Church had little if any control. Multiple marriages and widespread concubinage, however much the Church might protest, were essential requirements that established and maintained social order. The reformers' rhetoric was accompanied by increasing accusations of sexual misconduct, more frequent allegations of both spiritual and genealogical incest, and at the same time an increasing exaltation of chastity, continence, asceticism and even spiritual marriage.
Medieval Jewish society saw itself as being under siege in a struggle for survival within a Christian population that abounded with threats and temptations, both economic and intellectual. In sources written by the Jews in the first generation following the attack on the Jewish communities in the year 1096, emphasis was laid on the Jewish woman's readiness to lead religious resistance to the death, together with her unswerving devotion to Jewish values. The change in the status of the woman manifested itself in at least three significant ways; in her economic-legal status, in her status within the family and in her social standing. Starting in the twelfth century, a woman stepping down from her bridal canopy was a woman of a new and different status. The women also succeeded in bypassing an almost impossible obstacle in regard to study and education.