Augustine Baker, the seventeenth-century Benedictine monk, is primarily remembered as an advocate of mystical spiritual contemplation. This reputation was shaped by a contemporary supporter, whose synopsis of Baker's works is the source most commonly consulted by historians. However, by reading Baker's complete ‘Treatise of the English mission’ and recontextualising this manuscript, it is evident that he was addressing problems of his day. His treatise is a polemical response to debates about the implementation of the Catholic Reformation in England, advocating a vision of clerical formation and personal spiritual reformation for all those active in the English Catholic mission.
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