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Other titles in the Oxford Studies in Historical Theology series:

Mystery Unveiled: The Crisis of the Trinity in Early Modern England (Oxford Studies in Historical Theology)


Mystery Unveiled: The Crisis of the Trinity in Early Modern England (Oxford Studies in Historical Theology) Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Winner of the Sixteenth Century Society's Roland H. Bainton Prize for History or Theology

Paul C. H. Lim offers an insightful examination of the polemical debates about the doctrine of the Trinity in seventeenth-century England, showing that the philosophical and theological re-configuration of this doctrine had a significant impact on the politics of religion in the early modern period.

Lim's analysis of these heated polemics shows how Trinitarian God-talk became untenable in many ecclesiastical and philosophical circles, leading to the emergence of Unitarianism. He demonstrates that those who continued to uphold Trinitarian doctrine articulated their piety and theological perspectives in an increasingly secularized culture of discourse. Drawing on both unexplored manuscripts and well-known treatises of Continental and English provenance, he uncovers the complex layers of the polemic: from biblical exegesis to reception history of patristic authorities, from popular religious radicalism during the Civil War to Puritan spirituality, from Continental Socinians to English anti-Trinitarians who claimed an independent theological identity, from the notion of the Platonic captivity of primitive Christianity to that of Plato as "Moses Atticus."

Among this book's surprising findings are that Anti-Trinitarian sentiment arose in a Puritan ambience in which biblical literalism overrode rationalistic presuppositions, and that theology and philosophy were more closely connected during this period than previously thought. Mystery Unveiled fills a significant lacuna in early modern English intellectual history.

About the Author

Associate Professor of the History of Christianity, Vanderbilt Divinity School; Affiliate Professor of History, College of Arts and Sciences, Vanderbilt University

Table of Contents




1. Anti-trinitarian theology and trajectory of Paul Best and John Biddle

2. Antinomian and Antitrinitarian? The fate of the Trinity, c. 1640-1660

3. Many weapons, one aim: pro-trinitarian reactions to John Biddle in context

4. Polemical and Practical? The spirituality of Cheynell and Owen in context

5. Bishops Behaving Badly? Hobbes, Baxter, and Marvell on the Problem of Conciliar History and the Nature of Heresy

6. Platonic Captivity, or Sublime Mystery? The Trinity and the Gospel of John in early modern England





Product Details

Lim, Paul C. H.
Oxford University Press, USA
C. H. Lim, Paul
Lim, Paul Chang-Ha
Church History
Religion & Theology | History of Christianity | Reformation & Counter-Reformation
Religion Western-Theology
Publication Date:
7 illus.
6.1 x 9.3 x 1.6 in 1.75 lb

Related Subjects

Religion » Christianity » Church History » General
Religion » Comparative Religion » General
Religion » Western Religions » Theology

Mystery Unveiled: The Crisis of the Trinity in Early Modern England (Oxford Studies in Historical Theology) New Hardcover
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