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Godly Clergy in Early Stuart England
The Caroline Puritan Movement, c.1620–1643

Part of Cambridge Studies in Early Modern British History

  • Date Published: November 1997
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521461702


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About the Authors
  • This book reconsiders the existence of an early Stuart Puritan movement, and examines the ways in which Puritan clergymen encouraged greater sociability with their like-minded colleagues, both in theory and in practice, to such an extent that they came to define themselves as 'a peculiar people', a community distinct from their less faithful rivals. Their voluntary communal rituals encouraged a view of the world divided between 'us' and 'them'. This provides a context for a renewed examination of the thinking behind debates on ceremonial nonconformity and reactions to the Laudian changes of the 1630s. From this a new perspective is developed on arguments about emigration and church government, arguments that proved crucial to Parliamentarian unity during the English Civil War.

    • Revises substantially all existing accounts of church government in the years preceding the English Civil War
    • Offers a new and stimulating assessment of Puritan religion, combining theory and practice, and using anthropology
    • Uses a wide range of new sources to bring new understanding to the role of religion before the Civil War
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    Reviews & endorsements

    ' … a richly nuanced study of forms and practices of clerical sociability that helped to define Puritanism and shape its response to the changing conditions of the Caroline Church … [Webster] is a new voice in the field of Puritan studies and one that promises to be an important one'. Journal of Ecclesiastical History

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 1997
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521461702
    • length: 370 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 24 mm
    • weight: 0.71kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of abbreviations
    Part I. Society, Clerical Conference and the Church of England:
    1. Clerical education and the household seminary
    2. Profitable conferences and the settlement of godly ministers
    3. Fasting and prayer
    4. Clerical associations and the Church of England
    Part II. The Godly Ministry: Piety and Practice:
    5. The image of a godly minister
    6. Religiosity and sociability
    Part III. 'These Uncomfortable Times': Conformity and the Godly Ministers 1628–38:
    7. Thomas Hooker and the conformity debate
    8. Trajectories of response to Laudianism
    9. The ecclesiastical courts and the Essex visitation of 1631
    10. Juxon, Wren and the implementation of Laudianism
    11. The diocese of Peterborough: a see of conflict
    12. The metropolitical visitation of Essex and the strategies of evasion
    Part IV. 'These Dangerous Times': The Puritan Diaspora 1631–42
    13. John Dury and the godly ministers
    14. Choices of suffering and flight
    15. The 'non-separating Congregationalists' and Massachusetts
    16. Thomas Hooker and the Amesians
    17. Alternative ecclesiologists to 1642
    18. Conclusion.

  • Author

    Tom Webster, University of East Anglia

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