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Abraham's encounter at Mamre (Genesis xviii.1–16) captivated the Christian imagination from the tradition's very origins. The story hints at God's self-disclosure in a triad of visitors – a theophany that evoked the presence of the Logos or even the Trinity. This article examines late antique exegetical trajectories, focusing upon the interaction between text and expositor in light of the latter's socio-historical context. For patristic exegetes, the Mamre account contained profound spiritual truth if read through the correct doctrinal lens, while presenting a foothold for heresy to the unwary. Changing visions of Trinitarian orthodoxy thus gave rise to new strategies of reading.
A sense of an ending dominates accounts of African Christianity after the Vandal conquest of the 430s, not least as a result of the apparent disappearance of the Donatists in an Africa now ruled by Homoian Christians. In fact, the transfer from Donatist schism to new ‘Arian controversy’ more closely resembles the broader picture of Vandal Africa which has emerged from recent scholarship: significant continuity amid dynamic transformation. The cultural and rhetorical legacies of the Donatist schism were used by both parties (Catholic and Homoian) in Africa's new church conflict to present themselves as the true African Church.
During the first half of the fourteenth century titles granted by English religious houses replaced patrimonial titles and titles granted by laymen and women as the predominant titles for unbeneficed secular clergy in most dioceses. This probably reflects the greater security an undying corporation provided for the ordaining bishop; but none of the various kinds of title as described in episcopal registers can necessarily be taken at face value and in practice ordinands were not expected to depend on the grantors of their titles for their future careers or for long-term financial support.
This article examines English attitudes towards a moderate solution to the confessional struggles in France in the 1560s. It uses the activities of the scholar and advocate of concord, François Baudouin, as a point of focus, demonstrates, for the first time, the full extent of his English connection, and shows that he proposed to use English Protestant worship as the basis for negotiations between Catholics and Huguenots in France. The article advances our understanding of England's place within the international Reformed movement, and sheds further light on the difficulties of achieving religious compromise in this period.
This article recovers John Bunyan's engagement with Socinianism in his doctrinal and imaginative writings. After surveying the rise of Socinianism in seventeenth-century England, the article augments the known theological contexts of Bunyan's disputes with the Quakers and the Latitudinarians by showing that he charges these groups with slighting the Son and so associates them with anti-Trinitarian heresy. Bunyan's recourse when affirming the Trinity is to biblical typology, a hermeneutical method and manner of structuring narratives which Bunyan uses to uphold the embattled orthodox views of Christ's divinity, the propitiatory atonement and justification by faith.
It is notable that, in contrast to Ireland, there was no religious question in the decennial censuses of Great Britain in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Parliament debated and determined the contents of the enumeration and the inclusion of religion was keenly disputed until 1914. The debates raised issues of religious liberty, church establishment and practical applicability. However, census-taking required broad public cooperation and the possibility of widespread opposition to the question led to its repeated exclusion. Only in the twenty-first century was the religious question reconsidered and included, as a result of changes in British society.