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The Oxford History of Anglicanism, Volume IIEstablishment and Empire, 1662 -1829$
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Jeremy Gregory

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780199644636

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199644636.001.0001

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Theology in the Church of England

Theology in the Church of England

(p.392) 21 Theology in the Church of England
The Oxford History of Anglicanism, Volume II

B. W. Young

Oxford University Press

The dismissive characterization of Anglican divinity between 1688 and 1800 as defensive and rationalistic, made by Mark Pattison and Leslie Stephen, has proved more enduring than most other aspects of a Victorian critique of the eighteenth-century Church of England. By directly addressing the analytical narratives offered by Pattison and Stephen, this chapter offers a comprehensive re-evaluation of this neglected period in the history of English theology. The chapter explores the many contributions to patristic study, ecclesiastical history, and doctrinal controversy made by theologians with a once deservedly international reputation: William Cave, Richard Bentley, William Law, William Warburton, Joseph Butler, George Berkeley, and William Paley were vitalizing influences on Anglican theology, all of whom were systematically depreciated by their agnostic Victorian successors. This chapter offers a revisionist account of the many achievements in eighteenth-century Anglican divinity.

Keywords:   rationalism, patristics, Deism and scepticism, ecclesiastical history, apologetic, Victorian criticism

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