Sacraments, Ceremonies, and the Stuart Divines: Sacramental Theology and Liturgy in England and Scotland, 1603-1662

By Neelands, David | Anglican Theological Review, Fall 2003 | Go to article overview

Sacraments, Ceremonies, and the Stuart Divines: Sacramental Theology and Liturgy in England and Scotland, 1603-1662


Neelands, David, Anglican Theological Review


Sacraments, Ceremonies, and the Stuart Divines: Sacramental Theology and Liturgy in England and Scotland, 1603-1662. By Bryan D. Spinks. Aldershot, Hants, and Burlington, Vt.: Ashgate Publishing Company, 2002. xiv + 240 pp. $79.95 (cloth).

Bryan Spinks has offered a new study of the sacramental theology and liturgical debates in England and Scotland during the stormy period of the first six decades of the seventeenth century, when England and Scotland for the first time shared the same political regime.

After reviewing the diversity of sacramental theology and liturgical expression of the sixteenth-century Reformation on the continent, Spinks summarizes the absorption of these thoughts and practices in England and Scotland in the period before 1603, to establish that, while a theological consensus conveniently labeled "International Calvinism" came to set the agenda in the two kingdoms, different histories gave the two national churches different polity and different liturgies.

Spinks refers briefly to and quotes the work of forty-four English and twenty Scottish divines of the period after 1603. As he notes in the introduction, this treatment could easily be dismissed as "seminary history." The effect, however, is to show groupings within each of the two nations and agreements that cut across the border that divided them, through the period that begins with the Hampton Court Conference, and lasts through the rise and fall of the religion promoted in the two countries by the royal court, the Civil War, the Solemn League and Covenant, the Westminster Assembly of Divines, the enforced uniformity of the brief republican period, the Savoy Conference, and the separate religious settlements of the Restoration.

The Restoration settlements were thoroughly satisfactory to neither nation, eventually left significant bodies of dissent in both, and avoided the progress that had been achieved by the figures studied. …

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