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‘Settling the Peace of the Church’1662 Revisited$
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N. H. Keeble

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199688531

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199688531.001.0001

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The Debate over Authority:

The Debate over Authority:

Adiaphora, the Civil Magistrate, and the Settlement of Religion

Chapter:
(p.29) 1 The Debate over Authority:
Source:
‘Settling the Peace of the Church’
Author(s):

Jacqueline Rose

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199688531.003.0002

This chapter explores the triangular relationship between lay government, ecclesiastical authorities, and the individual Christian. Adiaphora constituted non‐doctrinal matters regarded as ‘indifferent’; mainly rites and ceremonies, but perhaps encompassing church government as well. These issues were central to negotiations over comprehension and were rooted in the theology of Christian liberty. However, the royal supremacy of the civil magistrate in the English Church meant that adiaphora unavoidably raised questions about law and authority. Discussions about the casuistry of obedience brought to the fore the psychological dilemmas of conformity. Debating the aesthetics of worship and their relationship to the remnants of Catholic ‘Popery’ rendered problematic the identity of the English Church. This chapter explores what was distinctive about the Restoration phase of an argument as old as the English Reformation, and how this complicates notions of toleration in the seventeenth century.

Keywords:   adiaphora, casuistry, Church of England, church government, civil magistrate, comprehension, Popery, Reformation, Restoration, toleration

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