HIST 251 - Lecture 18 - Street Wars of Religion: Puritans and Arminians

Lecture 18 - Street Wars of Religion: Puritans and Arminians


Professor Wrightson reviews the conflicts which developed within the Church of England in the early seventeenth century and played a role in the growing tensions which led to the English civil wars. Wrightson begins by describing the "Jacobethan consensus" which largely prevailed throughout the reign of James I, characterized by broad-based conformity and adherence to Calvinist doctrine. However, this consensus was strained by the local activism of Puritans in many areas. The success of these Puritan efforts at local reformation was uneven across the country and largely depended on whether Puritan clerics were able to secure the support of secular magistrates in order to enforce godly discipline. He next considers the Arminian movement (anti-Calvinist in doctrine and with strong elements of ritualism and clericalism) which destroyed the Jacobethan consensus. He traces how the rise of Arminianism resulted in the polarization and politicization of religion with Charles I's appointment of Arminian clerics (notably William Laud) to positions of control of the church and their repression of Puritan opponents.


Cust, The English Civil War, chapter 5

Collinson, Birthpangs of Protestant England, chapter 5

Course Media





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