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James UssherTheology, History, and Politics in Early-Modern Ireland and England$
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Alan Ford

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199274444

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199274444.001.0001

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Ussher and the Irish Articles of 1615

Ussher and the Irish Articles of 1615

(p.85) 4 Ussher and the Irish Articles of 1615
James Ussher

Alan Ford (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the Church of Ireland's first independent statement of its theology: the Irish Articles passed in convocation in 1615. The Irish articles linked the Church of Ireland closely to the Church of England, both to its confession and to its prevailing theological consensus in 1615. But where the thirty-nine articles were tentative and open to interpretation, the Irish confession, with its clear statements on predestination (through the incorporation of the Lambeth Articles), its declaration that the Pope was Antichrist, and its concessions to puritan sensitivities, was much fuller and sought to pin down the doctrine of the Irish church as unequivocally reformed, even European, in its outlook. In this achievement — enshrining the Calvinist consensus of the early 17th century — lay the ultimate significance of the Irish confession. It gave to the church a distinct and distinctive theological identity, and, given the lack of subscription, a flexibility in relation to who it wished to include, something which the Church of England lacked.

Keywords:   confessions, Irish articles, predestination, Lambeth articles, Antichrist, Calvinist consensus

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