The Reformed Pastor in English Puritanism

The Reformed Pastor in English Puritanism THE REFORMED PASTOR IN ENGLISH PURITANISM EAMON DUFFY 1. Introduction This paper examines the tensions between aspiration and actuality in the practice of Puritan ministry in early modern England. The English Reformation was essentially Reformed in character, and its theological affinities lay with the churches of Switzerland. But it retained most of its medieval Catholic structures and canon law, and the post-reformation Church of England lacked the institutional frame- work for the exercise of pastoral Discipline which Reformed eccle- siology considered essential. The paper explores the problems of identity and action which this created for Puritan clergy, with ref erence to the informal exercise of discipline in late Elizabethan and early Stuart England; the paper concludes with an examination of the pastoral initiatives and writings of Richard Baxter in the 1650s, and the eventual frustration of his attempts to reform and redefine the practice of Reformed ministry in mid Stuart England. 2. Parochial peace and the New Clerks) In a series of brilliant and seminal publications extending over almost thirty years, most recently his Birkbeck lectures Peace in the Post- Reformation,' John Bossy has explored the relationship between Christian sacraments and ministry, and the making and healing of Nederlands Archief voor Kerkgeschiedenis (in 2006 continued as Church History and Religious Culture) Brill

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© 2003 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
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