Chapter

English Calvinism in a New Era

Dewey D. Wallace, Jr.

in Shapers of English Calvinism, 1660–1714

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780199744831
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199897339 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199744831.003.0002

Series: Oxford Studies in Historical Theology

English Calvinism in a New Era

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This chapter provides foundation and context for the Calvinist thinkers analyzed in later chapters. Calvinism and the Reformed Tradition are defined, and the relative merits of the terms assessed, acknowledging “Reformed” as the more accurate term, but “Calvinism” the more recognizable. Scholastic method, “Federal Theology,” and emphasis on piety were aspects of English Calvinism during this period. Calvinist piety and theology were shaped in the context of disputes among the Church of England, the dissenting Presbyterians and Independents (Congregationalists), and such radicals as the Antinomians in the generations before and after the Toleration Act of 1688. These Calvinist thinkers also responded to the changing intellectual currents of the early Enlightenment such as Cartesian rationalism, a new natural science, Anti-Trinitarianism, Socinianism, Deism, awareness of other religions, and atheism. Discussion of atheism shifted from viewing it as godless scoffing to denial of immortality and the existence of God.

Keywords: Calvinism; Presbyterians; Independents; Congregationalists; Cartesian Rationalism; Anti-Trinitarianism; Socinianism; Deism; atheism

Chapter.  18395 words. 

Subjects: Christianity

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