Hungarian Puritans and Presbyterians
Some Reformed ministers in Hungary and Transylvania were accused of being Puritans from the late 1630s. This chapter focuses on the troubled career in the northern Tisza church of János Tolnai Dali, who was among the first to be identified as a Puritan on his return from England in 1638. Those clergy who were labelled as Puritans came to adopt the term to indicate a sense of their superior commitment to Reformed religion. The charge of Puritanism was also related in Hungary and Transylvania to issues concerning church government and to the obedience that ministers owed to their clergy superiors. During this period, advocates of an episcopal style of government clashed repeatedly with Presbyterians over the scriptural basis for a clergy hierarchy. Presbyterianism was roundly rejected by the clergy leadership as a dangerous threat to good order in the church. These disputes over ecclesiastical authority in Hungary and Transylvania were contested not only by Reformed ministers, but also amongst members of the ruling princely family, such as the Rákóczi princes.
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