English bishops and the salvation of protestantism 1660-1700

Harmes, Marcus (2011) English bishops and the salvation of protestantism 1660-1700. In: 8th Biennial International Conference of the Australian and New Zealand Association for Medieval and Early Modern Studie (ANZAMEMS 2011) , 2-5 Feb 2011, Dunedin, New Zealand.


The English episcopate of the so-called 'Long Eighteenth Century' has long been presented in scholarly writing as pastorally ineffective and institutionally irrelevant. The bishops of the late-seventeenth century are normally recounted in modern scholarship as unresponsive to criticisms and as the somnambulant predecessors of the quintessential 18th century bishops. Yet these same bishops emerged from an episcopate at the turn of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries that sympathisers presented as a dynamic force actively defending Protestantism from domestic and foreign enemies. Contemporary evidence reinforces this alternative reading of episcopal actions and of reactions to the episcopate, showing how bishops interacted with the major currents of political and social thought to validate episcopacy as suitable agent of reformed religious authority. This paper surveys a range of commentaries on episcopal responsibilities by Gilbert Burnet, William Sancroft, Thomas Tenison and other late-seventeenth century writers who endeavoured to neutralise contemporary arguments for the invalidity of episcopal authority in reformed religion by showing episcopacy as an agent of anti-Catholic security.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: ANZAMEMS: Australian and New Zealand Association for Medieval and Early Modern Studies. Abstract only is available.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Arts - School of Humanities and Communication
Date Deposited: 10 Jul 2012 05:10
Last Modified: 29 Jun 2017 02:46
Uncontrolled Keywords: episcopacy; english; William Sancroft; Thomas Tenison; Gilbert Burnet
Fields of Research : 22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2203 Philosophy > 220315 Philosophy of Religion
22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2204 Religion and Religious Studies > 220405 Religion and Society
21 History and Archaeology > 2103 Historical Studies > 210305 British History
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9504 Religion and Ethics > 950404 Religion and Society
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/20032

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