The Rise and Fall of British Arianism

Maurice Wiles

in Archetypal Heresy

Published in print April 2001 | ISBN: 9780199245918
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191600814 | DOI:
 The Rise and Fall of British Arianism

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Looks briefly at anti‐Trinitarian tendencies in sixteenth‐ and seventeenth‐century Britain (with special attention to Ralph Cudworth and John Locke), but concentrates on the eighteenth century, when Arianism was a significant feature of the ecclesiastical scene, especially among leading intellectual figures both in the Church of England and among the Presbyterian churches. Detailed studies of the theologies of Isaac Newton, William Whiston, and Samuel Clarke. Traces the collapse of this Arian‐style anti‐Trinitarianism in the Church of England and the tendency of heterodox dissenters, such as Joseph Priestley, to adopt a Unitarian view. Suggests that the diminishing acceptance in the wider culture of belief in a transcendental spirit world was an important factor in that tendency, leading to a third death of Arianism.

Keywords: Clarke; Cudworth; Locke; Newton; Presbyterian; Priestley; spirit world; Unitarian; Whiston

Chapter.  47911 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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