The Oxford History of Protestant Dissenting Traditions, Volume I

The Post-Reformation Era, 1559-1689,

edited by John Coffey:

  • Presents a revisionist account of the origins of Anglophone Protestant Dissent
  • Adopts a comparative approach between Presbyterians, Congregationalists, Baptists, and Quakers
  • Harvests a wealth of new research on Dissenting religious culture through recent scholarly editions and projects

The Oxford History of Protestant Dissenting Traditions, Volume I traces the emergence of Anglophone Protestant Dissent in the post-Reformation era between the Act of Uniformity (1559) and the Act of Toleration (1689). It reassesses the relationship between establishment and Dissent, emphasising that Presbyterians and Congregationalists were serious contenders in the struggle for religious hegemony. Under Elizabeth I and the early Stuarts, separatists were few in number, and Dissent was largely contained within the Church of England, as nonconformists sought to reform the national Church from within. During the English Revolution (1640-60), Puritan reformers seized control of the state but splintered into rival factions with competing programmes of ecclesiastical reform. Only after the Restoration, following the ejection of two thousand Puritan clergy from the Church, did most Puritans become Dissenters, often with great reluctance. Dissent was not the inevitable terminus of Puritanism, but the contingent and unintended consequence of the Puritan drive for further reformation. The story of Dissent is thus bound up with the contest for the established Church, not simply a heroic tale of persecuted minorities contending for religious toleration. Nevertheless, in the half century after 1640, religious pluralism became a fact of English life, as denominations formed and toleration was widely advocated. The volume explores how Presbyterians, Congregationalists, Baptists, and Quakers began to forge distinct identities as the four major denominational traditions of English Dissent. It tracks the proliferation of Anglophone Protestant Dissent beyond England—in Wales, Scotland, Ireland, the Dutch Republic, New England, Pennsylvania, and the Caribbean. And it presents the latest research on the culture of Dissenting congregations, including their relations with the parish, their worship, preaching, gender relations, and lay experience.

Table of Contents
1: Presbyterianism in Elizabethan & Early Stuart England , Polly Ha
2: Presbyterians in the English Revolution , Elliot Vernon
3: Presbyterians in the Restoration , George Southcombe
4: Congregationalists , Tim Cooper
5: Separatists and Baptists , Michael A. G. Haykin
6: Early Quakerism and its Origins , Ariel Hessayon
7: The Dutch Republic: English and Scottish Dissenters in Dutch Exile, 1575-1688 , Cory Cotter
8: Scotland , R. Scott Spurlock
9: Ireland , Crawford Gribben
10: Wales, 1587-1689 , Lloyd Bowen
11: Dissent in New England , Francis J. Bremer
12: Colonial Quakerism , Andrew R. Murphy and Adrian Chastain Weimer
13: Dissent in the Parishes , W. J. Sheils
14: Dissent and the State: Persecution and Toleration , Jacqueline Rose
15: The Empowerment of Dissent: The Puritan Revolution , Bernard Capp
16: The Print Culture of Nonconformity: From Martin Marprelate to Reliquiae Baxterianae , N. H. Keeble
17: The Bible and Theology , John Coffey
18: Sacraments and Worship , Susan Hardman Moore
19: Sermons and Preaching , David J. Appleby
20: Women and Gender , Rachel Adock
21: Being a Dissenter: Lay Experience in the Gathered Churches , Michael Davies, Anne Dunan-Page, and Joel Halcomb

Author Information
Edited by John Coffey, Professor of Early Modern History, University of Leicester

John Coffey is Professor of Early Modern History at the University of Leicester. He has published widely on the history of Protestantism in Britain and America, and is the author of Persecution and Toleration in Protestant England, 1558-1689 (2000), and Exodus and Liberation: Deliverance Politics from John Calvin to Martin Luther King Jr. (2014). He co-edited The Cambridge Companion to Puritanism (2008), and has worked with N.H. Keeble, Tom Charlton, and Tom Cooper on a scholarly edition of Richard Baxter’s Reliquiae Baxterianae, 5 vols (Oxford, 2020).

Rachel Adcock Lecturer in English, Keele University
David J. Appleby, Lecturer in Early Modern British History, University of Nottingham.
Lloyd Bowen, Reader in Early Modern History, Cardiff University
Francis J. Bremer, Professor Emeritus of History, Millersville University of Pennsylvania
Bernard Capp, Emeritus Professor of History, University of Warwick
John Coffey, Professor of Early Modern History, University of Leicester
Tim Cooper, Associate Professor of Church Histor, University of Otago
Cory Cotter, Independent Researcher.
Michael Davies, Senior Lecturer in English, University of Liverpool
Anne Dunan-Page, Professor of Early Modern British Studies, Aix-Marseille Université,
Crawford Gribben, Professor of Early Modern British History, Queen’s University Belfast
Polly Ha, Reader in Early Modern History, University of East Anglia
Joel Halcomb, Lecturer in Early Modern History, University of East Anglia
Susan Hardman Moore, Professor of Early Modern Religion, University of Edinburgh.
Michael A. G. Haykin, Chair and Professor of Church History, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Dr Ariel Hessayon, Reader in the Department of History, Goldsmiths, University of London.
N H Keeble, Professor Emeritus of English Studies, University of Stirling, Scotland.
Andrew Murphy, Professor of Political Science, Virginia Commonwealth University
Jacqueline Rose, Senior Lecturer in History, University of St Andrews
Bill Sheils, Professor Emeritus of History, University of York.
George Southcombe, Director of Sarah Lawrence Programme, Wadham College, Oxford.
R. Scott Spurlock, Senior Lecturer in Scottish Religious Cultures, University of Glasgow
Elliot Vernon, Barrister of Lincoln’s Inn
Adrian Chastain Weimer, Associate Professor of History, Providence College

Colin Harris

PhD student at LERMA, Aix-en-Provence. Ministerial Puritan Diaries of the 17th Century. MA ACMA (Recherche) Aix Marseille Université. BA Cantab.

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