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Title: Religious thought after the period of revivalism in eighteenth-century New England, c.1739-1800
Author: Atkinson, M. C.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2007
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Abstract:
This thesis will aim to conceptualise the period from c. 1739 to 1800 as a time in which the nature of Calvinism, or what contemporaries perceived as Calvinism to mean, was under intense and continuous discussion in New England. Ministers’ various attempts to remould their Calvinist heritage will be examined: in particular, the investigation will focus on ‘New Divinity’ clerics such as Joseph Bellamy, and Samuel Hopkins, who reinterpreted the works of Jonathan Edwards senior. We will also analyse the opposing arguments of ‘Old Calvinist’ and ‘Arminian’ pastors, and consider in some detail the treatises of such ‘Arminians’ as Charles Chauncy and Jonathan Mayhew, who repudiated certain Calvinist doctrines. In sum, this thesis will study very closely the ministerial discussions of such topics as original sin, total depravity, and the origin of evil; the freedom of the will and moral agency; the nature of justifying faith; the relationship between faith and works; true holiness; and Christ’s atonement and universal salvation. Moreover, in New England, the principles of eighteenth-century ‘supernatural rationalism’ were significant, as they initiated debate on such issues as the relationship between God and man; man’s rational ability to perceive true virtue; his potential to enact good works; and God’s infinite benevolence. Ministers’ reinterpretation of New England Calvinism will therefore be placed in the context of the common intellectual culture of ‘the eighteenth-century British Atlantic world’, in order to see how, and to what extent, they absorbed or rejected its theological assumptions.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.596216  DOI: Not available
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