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This article re-examines the development of the chorepiscopoi using hagiographic sources in Syriac. These suggest that more peripheral regions of the Roman world, such as Osrhoene, with an ‘open frontier’ with local pagans, retained these subepiscopal structures into the sixth century. Furthermore, these structures fostered the independent activity of the parts of the institutional Church in defiance of their bishops in times of disagreement over doctrine. This localised emphasis explains in turn the defence of ascetic customs that had once been categorised as heteropraxy.
In this examination of the piety and devotional books of Reginald Pole and his friends, three booklists are compared: Pole's own, and those of Marcantonio Flaminio and Michael Throckmorton. The article also probes their comments and choices about reading and prayer, sacrament and preaching, as well as the observations of contemporaries. Piety in Pole's household was nourished principally by the Bible, the Fathers and the Imitation of Christ, but scriptural commentaries by suspect reformers also became part of their devotional reading, moulding religious identities which were unusual and became dangerous.
The Calvinistic Confession of Faith written by the patriarch of Constantinople, Cyril Loukaris, is considered to be the most important product and at the same time the manifesto of the attempted union of the Protestant and Orthodox Churches. Presenting evidence which has been neglected in previous research, this article aims to revise this communis opinio by demonstrating that the book that was actually meant to become the theological foundation for the envisaged union was in fact the Ecclesiarum Belgicarum Confessio, a bilingual (Latin and Greek) publication (1623, 1627, 1648) containing the Βelgic Confession, the Heidelberg Catechism and several canons of the Synod of Dordrecht.
The Protestant portion of the population of the north of Ireland experienced an extraordinary outburst of religious fervour in 1859. This article provides a critical overview of some of the interpretations of the revival offered by scholars and suggests a number of hitherto ignored themes under three headings: causes, controversies and consequences. The first section moves beyond questions of social and economic determinism to outline the sense of expectancy for revival that was created through the Evangelical reform movement amongst Presbyterians in the north of Ireland. The second considers the controversies of the revival, especially the various physical phenomena that accompanied some conversions, and the Evangelical critique of the revival offered by William McIlwaine and Isaac Nelson. The final section shows how the revival consolidated religious identities in Ulster and contributed to obscuring the dominance of conservative Evangelicalism within the Presbyterian Church.
Various attempts at establishing Anglican theological education were made after the arrival in 1848 of Robert Gray, the first bishop of Cape Town, but it was not until 1876 that the first theological school opened in Bloemfontein. As late as 1883 half of the Anglican priests in South Africa had never attended a theological college. The system of theological education which developed afterwards became increasingly segregated. It also became more centralised, in a different manner for each race. A central theological college for white ordinands was established in Grahamstown in 1898 while seven diocesan theological colleges were opened for blacks during the same period. These were reduced to two in the 1930s, St Peter's College in Johannesburg and St Bede's in Umtata. The former became one of the constituent colleges of the Federal Theological Seminary in Alice, Eastern Cape, in 1963.
In his article on the critical reception of the late Frank Turner's John Henry Newman: the challenge to Evangelical religion, Simon Skinner contends that Turner's study is ‘empirically exhaustive, contextually assured and critically rigorous’, and he cites with approval Andrew Wilson's judgement that it ‘revolutionizes Newman studies’.1 But this historical masterpiece, he thinks, has been unjustly howled down by a benighted posse of Roman Catholic reviewers, ‘almost none of [whom] are … tenured in a university history department’. Turner's Catholic reviewers, ‘which is to say nearly all reviewers’, are therefore ‘amateurs’, who ‘literally could not comprehend’ what Turner was up to.2 But history is not an arcane discipline, and Skinner's complaint about the ‘lack of disciplinary equipment’ of these hostile reviewers seems hardly to the point in relation to a book offered by a major publisher to a general readership. The ordinary rules of historical evidence are intelligible to anybody, and a de haut en bas restriction of the right to an opinion on Turner's book to the gild of professional historians runs the risk of seeming both arbitrary and condescending.
At the close of his epistolary protest at Ian Ker's contemptuous review of John Henry Newman in the Times Literary Supplement in 2002, Frank Turner remarked: ‘Ker's review raises the larger issue of whether modern British and European religious history will continue as an arena for professional research and critical analysis or succumb to the parochial constraints and contentions of denominational and intra-denominational discourse. Ian Ker has made his choice in the matter, and I have made mine.’1 My article in this Journal in October 2010, ‘History versus hagiography: the reception of Turner's Newman’, sought to demonstrate that professional research and critical analysis were altogether suffocated by the contentions of denominational discourse after that book's publication in 2002. The article was careful not in any simple way to legitimise Turner's conclusions – indeed, it set out schematically and at length the interpretative retorts which they invited – but rather his purpose and method. I concluded:
What is at stake … in the fuss over Turner's Newman, is not the plausibility or otherwise of his interpretation. It far transcends that. What is at stake is the legitimacy and remit of historical inquiry itself, when confronted with a vocal interest group whose principles and prejudices are seldom acknowledged. The difference between the book and the great majority of its critics, therefore, is not between Catholicism and Protestantism, nor even religion and secularism, but between history itself and hagiography – a difference not of prejudice, but of methodology.2
A great – though mortal – man once wrote, in the Tracts for the Times, no. 1, ‘Choose your side’.3 In his response to my article on ‘History versus hagiography’, it is at once enlightening and dispiriting to see Eamon Duffy choosing his.