Tag Archives: Civil Wars

The Crisis of British Protestantism

Hunter Powell’s monograph, The Crisis of British Protestantism: Church Power in the Puritan Revolution, 1638–44,  is now out with Manchester University Press.

‘This book seeks to bring coherence to two of the most studied periods in British history, Caroline non-conformity (pre-1640) and the British revolution (post-1642). It does so by focusing on the pivotal years of 1638–44 where debates around non-conformity within the Church of England morphed into a revolution between Parliament and its king. Parliament, saddled with the responsibility of re-defining England’s church, called its Westminster assembly of divines to debate and define the content and boundaries of that new church.

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Typically this period has been studied as either an ecclesiastical power struggle between Presbyterians and independents, or as the harbinger of modern religious toleration. This book challenges those assumptions and provides an entirely new framework for understanding one of the most important moments in British history’.

To order, see the publisher’s website, http://www.manchesteruniversitypress.co.uk/cgi-bin/indexer?product=9780719096341

Baptist Women

Rachel Adcock has just published her monograph, Baptist Women’s Writings in Revolutionary Culture, 1640-1680 (Ashgate, 2015, 232p, ISBN 978-1-4724-5706-6).

‘Although literary-historical studies have often focused on the range of dissenting religious groups and writers that flourished during the English Revolution, they have rarely had much to say about seventeenth-century Baptists, or, indeed, Baptist women. Baptist Women’s Writings in Revolutionary Culture, 1640-1680 fills that gap, exploring how female Baptists played a crucial role in the group’s formation and growth during the 1640s and 50s, by their active participation in religious and political debate, and their desire to evangelise their followers.

Adcock coverThe study significantly challenges the idea that women, as members of these congregations, were unable to write with any kind of textual authority because they were often prevented from speaking aloud in church meetings. On the contrary, Adcock shows that Baptist women found their way into print to debate points of church organisation and doctrine, to defend themselves and their congregations, to evangelise others by example and by teaching, and to prophesy, and discusses the rhetorical tactics they utilised in order to demonstrate the value of women’s contributions’.

More information on the publisher’s website

To read Rachel’s description of the Loughwood Church records, see the National Trust website.