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Title: John Edwards of Cambridge (1637-1716) : a reassessment of his location within the later Stuart Church of England
Author: Griesel, Abraham Jacobus
ISNI:       0000 0004 8501 315X
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2020
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This study focuses on John Edwards of Cambridge (1637-1716) and the broader Reformed tradition within the later Stuart Church of England. Its central thesis is that, contrary to the claims of older scholarship, Edwards was not a marginalized figure in the Church of England on account of his 'Calvinism'. Instead, this study demonstrates that Edwards was recognized in his own day and in the immediately following generations as one of the preeminent conforming divines of the period, and that his theological and polemical works, despite some Arminian opposition, enjoyed a very positive reception among significant segments of the established Church's clergy, many of whom shared his Reformed doctrinal convictions. Instead of a theological misfit as he has often been portrayed, this study contends that the Reformed polemicist Edwards was a decidedly mainstream figure in the established Church of his day. Overall, this study makes a substantial contribution to the largely uncharted field of later Stuart and early Hanoverian Church of England theology, and demonstrates that future accounts of the established Church in this period will have to afford both Edwards and his numerous Reformed contemporaries a considerably more prominent place than has hitherto been the case. It not only confirms Stephen Hampton's work on the persisting vitality of Reformed theology within the established Church during this period, but substantially develops it by demonstrating that Hampton's revisionist thesis significantly underestimated Edwards' stature within the Church as well as the strength and numbers of conforming Reformed divines between the Restoration and the evangelical revivals (1660 - c. 1730). Finally, this study problematizes scholarly depictions of the later Stuart Church of England as having developed a fairly homogeneous 'Anglican' theological identity, and argues instead that the established Church in this period was rather variegated in terms of theological doctrine, churchmanship, and politics.
Supervisor: Hampton, Stephen William Peter Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Church of England ; Reformed theology ; Reformed orthodoxy ; Restoration period ; Seventeenth century ; Eighteenth century ; English religious history ; Historical theology ; Post-Reformation ; Anglicanism ; History of Anglicanism ; Anglican theology ; Anglican history ; Conformity ; Intellectual history ; Ecclesiastical history ; Church history ; Theological polemics ; Calvinism ; Arminianism ; 39 Articles ; Thirty-nine Articles ; Stuart period ; John Edwards ; John Edwards of Cambridge ; Polemics