Church polity and politics in the British Atlantic Chapter 6 Presbyterian ecclesiologies at the Westminster assembly Chad Van Dixhoorn ECCLESIASTICAL CONTEXTS T he Westminster assembly was in many ways the high point of the puritan experiment. The special morning service on 1 July 1643 saw the nave of Westminster Abbey thronged with supporters of a godly reformation. Long prayed-for alterations in worship, clarifications in doctrine and renovations in church government were finally within reach. While continuing reformation was to proceed on all three fronts
This book addresses a perennial question of the English Reformation: to what extent, if any, the late medieval dissenters known as lollards influenced the Protestant Reformation in England. To answer this question, this book looks at the appropriation of the lollards by evangelicals such as William Tyndale, John Bale, and especially John Foxe, and through them by their seventeenth-century successors. Because Foxe included the lollards in his influential tome, Acts and Monuments (1563), he was the most important conduit for their individual stories, including that of John Wyclif (d. 1384), and lollard beliefs and ecclesiology. Foxe’s reorientation of the lollards from heretics and traitors to martyrs and model subjects portrayed them as Protestants’ spiritual forebears. Scholars have argued that to accomplish this, Foxe heavily edited radical lollard views on episcopacy, baptism, preaching, conventicles, tithes, and oaths, either omitting them from his book or moulding them into forms compatible with a magisterial Reformation. This book shows that Foxe in fact made no systematic attempt to downplay radical lollard beliefs, and that much non-mainstream material exists in the text. These views, legitimised by Foxe’s inclusion of them in his book, allowed for later dissenters to appropriate the lollards as historical validation of their theological and ecclesiological positions. The book traces the ensuing struggle for the lollard, and indeed the Foxean, legacy between conformists and nonconformists, arguing that the same lollards that Foxe used to bolster the English church in the sixteenth century would play a role in its fragmentation in the seventeenth.
This book presents a study that is an attempt to understand the phenomenal increase in the production and demand for stained glass between about 1835 and 1860. The book provides both history and context for thousands of Victorian stained-glass windows that exist in churches across the country. It aims to: ask why people became interested in stained glass; examine how glass-painters set up their studios; and understand how they interacted with each other and their patrons. To understand why so many windows were commissioned and made in the Victorian period, readers need to understand how buying a stained-glass window became a relatively ordinary thing to do. In order to examine this, the book focuses on those who wrote or spoke about stained glass in the formative years of the revival. It is important to look at the production of stained glass as a cultural exchange: a negotiation in both financial and cultural terms that was profitable for both glass-painter and patron. The history of Victorian stained glass allows an examination of many other areas of nineteenth-century cultural history. Readers can learn a lot about the aesthetics of the Gothic Revival, ecclesiology, the relationship between 'fine' and 'decorative' art, and the circulation of art history in the 1840s. While many interesting glass-painters have necessarily been omitted, the author hopes that the case studies in the book will provide a point of reference for the research of future scholars.
The debate on the polity of the church was at the centre of the religious debates in the British Atlantic world during the middle decades of the seventeenth-century. From the Covenanter revolution in Scotland, to the congregationalism of the New England colonies, to the protracted debates of the Westminster assembly, and the abolition of the centuries-old episcopalian structure of the Church of England, the issue of the polity of the church was intertwined with the political questions of the period. This book collects together essays focusing on the conjunction of church polity and politics in the middle years of the seventeenth century. A number of chapters in the volume address the questions and conflicts arising out of the period’s reopening and rethinking of the Reformation settlement of church and state. In addition, the interplay between the localities and the various Westminster administrations of the era are explored in a number of chapters. Beyond these discussions, chapters in the volume explore the deeper ecclesiological thinking of the period, examining the nature of the polity of the church and its relationship to society at large. The book also covers the issues of liberty of conscience and how religious suffering contributed to a sense of what the true church was in the midst of revolutionary political upheaval. This volume asserts the fundamental connection between church polity and politics in the revolutions that affected the seventeenth-century British Atlantic world.
primarily concerned with theology; ecclesiastical architecture and design was at best a minor issue. The solution to these issues came in the form of an extraordinary undergraduate society, this time based at Cambridge University. Ecclesiology It was the ecclesiological movement that transferred Pugin’;s ideas so effectively into an Anglican context and converted the theological ideas of the Oxford Movement
Figure 5.3 Charles II portrayed in Eikon Basilike deutera: the pourtraicture of his Sacred Majesty King Charles II (1694) The conscientious, sacrificial Christianity of the father had become the politique absolutism of the son. The Eikon was now a counterculture. 51 The reception of the Eikon Basilike was deeply entangled in the politics of ecclesial faction. This was no accident. If the King’s book was inconclusive as constitutional commentary, it was immensely influential as a meditation on the Church. Crucially, the ecclesiology of the Eikon
, which took on similar forms, including biblical exposition, offering sermons or the repetition of sermons, and even breaking bread together. Since Acts and Monuments offered the most comprehensive account of lollard ecclesiology in the early modern era, it presented godly models of piety for Elizabethan readers, proven with martyrs’ blood – an ecclesiology based not in the traditional parish church, but firmly in unconsecrated places like shops, the outdoors, and especially the home. Moreover, it was a major vector for historical claims that preaching should be
Church polity and politics in the British Atlantic Chapter 5 Polity, discipline and theology: the importance of the covenant in Scottish presbyterianism, 1560–c. 1700 R. Scott Spurlock W hilst some of the chapters in this volume focus on conceptions of church government and the use of the keys, the present chapter will discuss early modern Scottish presbyterian understandings of ecclesiology and who was understood to be the subject of the keys. A number of recent studies have demonstrated the fluidity of polity in seventeenth-century Britain, which is
‘ecclesiology’, which in this volume is used for more abstract theological reflections on the nature of the church.2 Religious non-observance was minimal in the early modern British Atlantic world, with the consequence that church polity was inescapably bound up with the political in its wide definition: the relationships of power between individuals, groups and nations. The structures of church governance, therefore, had the potential to impact substantially on the lives of the vast majority of people in the seventeenth-century British Atlantic world.3 Church polity also had
extreme right’, but Philpotts, like many other prominent high-church bishops, was extremely cautious in his support of the Tractarians. 14 He was clearly wary of the controversial side of ecclesiology, as he was one of members of the CCS who resigned in 1845 when the ecclesiologists were being publicly accused of Popery. Traditionally a Tory stronghold, Exeter was populated by a high proportion of professionals such as doctors and lawyers who served