Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Richard Baxter and the ideal of the reformed pastor
Author: Black, J. W.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2000
Availability of Full Text:
Full text unavailable from EThOS.
Please contact the current institution’s library for further details.
After an introduction and survey of the present state of research (chapter 1), the first section investigates Gildas Salvianus in its context by surveying the motives, rhetoric and practice of puritan pastoral ministry. Chapter 2 surveys extant treatises and sermons on pastoral ministry from the Edwardian reformation to the British civil wars, establishing the literary context for Baxter's Gildas Salvianus and highlighting the difference between published rhetoric and parish practice. Chapter 3 examines the way English Protestants used the word 'reformation' and the resulting impact on their pastoral priorities. Most significantly, this chapter highlights Richard Baxter's recovery of a Bucerian understanding of reformation which had been overshadowed by a dominant Genevan perspective for nearly a century. The first section culminates with Chapter 4's analysis of Baxter's Gildas Salvianus. This chapter argues that with the publication of Gildas Salvianus, Baxter overturns the conventional discussion of pastoral ministry of reconfiguring efforts for reformation along pastoral and evangelistic lines. This chapter also demonstrates the similarities between Baxter's pastoral strategy and practice and that of Martin Bucer and argues that Baxter's pastoral strategy was decisively influenced by his reading of Bucer's works on ministry and reformation. The second section examines the core elements of Richard Baxter's ministry in Kidderminster as outlined in Gildas Salvianus. Chapter 5 takes up the contentious issue of church discipline, with an overview of prior constraints and practices, an explanation of Baxter's own practice and how it developed, and an analysis of the evidence suggesting Bucer's influence on Baxter's approach. Chapter 6 traces Richard Baxter's experiences in the Civil War, and identifies those influences which led to the founding of the Worcestershire Association. Chapter 7 follows the development of Baxter's dual emphases on public preaching and personal instruction and details the evangelistic core of his pastoral strategy. The third and final section considers the immediate impact of Baxter's pastoral ministry and raises questions concerning Baxter's subsequent influence. Chapter 8 asks whether Baxter's Bucerian emphases might not be better explained by the survival of an intermediate Bucerian tradition in English Protestant ministry. It also argues that although Baxter's strategy was in part a reaction against the bankruptcy of the long-standing 'puritan' pastoral ideal, later admirers and historians overlooked its failure and mistakenly presumed continuity with Baxter's practice. Chapter 9 assesses Baxter's long-term relationship with Thomas Doolittle as an example of ministerial formation and a further means to assist Baxter's strategy to effect pastor-led, parish-centred reformation. The thesis concludes in Chapter 10 by summarizing Baxter's role in the development of 17th-Century pastoral ministry.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available