Chapter

Introduction

Charles W. A. Prior

in A Confusion of Tongues

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780199698257
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191739040 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199698257.003.0001
Introduction

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  • Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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This chapter presents the core argument of the book, noting that debates on ecclesiology reveal that religion and law were more closely integrated than some scholars have maintained, and that disputes over the nature of this integration constituted a major source of ideological conflict leading up to the civil wars. It offers a critical assessment of some recent historical work, and makes a case for understanding disputes on ecclesiology as a branch of political thought. It questions interpretations that foreground Erastianism or Arminianism as the chief explanations for how religion fits into the wider interpretation of the outbreak of the civil wars. Instead, it proposes an approach to religious controversies which situates them as debates on political ecclesiology, shaped by a process of historical narrative and criticism.

Keywords: ecclesiology; wars of religion; Erastianism; historiography; law

Chapter.  9288 words. 

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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