Journal Article

Richard Holdsworth and the Antinomian Controversy

Stephen Hampton

in The Journal of Theological Studies

Volume 62, issue 1, pages 218-250
Published in print April 2011 | ISSN: 0022-5185
Published online September 2010 | e-ISSN: 1477-4607 | DOI:
Richard Holdsworth and the Antinomian Controversy

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This article examines the lectures which Richard Holdsworth delivered shortly after his appointment as Gresham Professor of Divinity in November 1629. They show that Holdsworth was a Reformed theologian committed to a vision of conformity which was different from that of William Laud. The article places Holdsworth’s posthumously published lectures in the context of the London antinomian controversy, and argues that they enrich the picture of that controversy which has been drawn by David Como in two specific ways. First, the lectures show that the Reformed response to the antinomian threat was more subtle and creative than has been appreciated. Secondly, they demonstrate that the Puritans were not the only exponents of Reformed theology to feel threatened by the rise of antinomianism. Committed to the Reformed theological tradition, yet sympathetic to the idiosyncratic polity of the English Church, Holdsworth speaks for a group of early Stuart clergy whose theology has been paid little attention in the historiography, but who were nonetheless a significant party within the Church of England.

Journal Article.  13657 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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