Chapter

Bishops Behaving Badly? Hobbes, Baxter, and Marvell on the Problem of Conciliar History and the Nature of Heresy

Paul C. H. Lim

in Mystery Unveiled

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780195339468
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979097 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195339468.003.0005

Series: Oxford Studies in Historical Theology

Bishops Behaving Badly? Hobbes, Baxter, and Marvell on the Problem of Conciliar History and the Nature of Heresy

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This chapter contends that a key component of the anti-Trinitarian cultural and religious habitus was historical, as well as exegetical-theological. In other words, not only were the Socinians adroit at interpreting certain contested texts in an anti-Trinitarian direction, they were also keenly aware that no biblical exegesis could stand on its own unless a person could demonstrate that her or his exegesis put her or him in the middle of the historical stream of “faithful exegetes.” The chapter discusses the evident presentist-concerns for Baxter, Hobbes, and Marvell. The three “historians” offer a focused account of the abuses, mishaps, and persecutory praxis surrounding the history of the Councils. By connecting Hobbes, Baxter, and Marvell in their common critique of priestcraft, particularly the episcopal “abuses” of power to determine orthodoxy and heresy, we get a fresh perspective on the “movement” of anti-Trinitarianism in early modern England.

Keywords: anti-Trinitarianism; Baxter; Hobbes; Marvell; priestcraft

Chapter.  23675 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Christian Theology

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