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The writings of Gregory of Elvira are among the most important sources for understanding early Latin biblical exegesis as well as the culture and theology of the Spanish Church in the fourth century. The paucity of ancient sources on Gregory's episcopal career, however, renders a proper assessment of these works difficult, and he has not been well served by historians. In this essay, I propose a modified account of Gregory's life and career, arguing that the dates of his birth, ordination and death are fixed later than they should be and that his involvement with the ‘Luciferians’ has been significantly overestimated.
This article discusses Martin Luther's appropriation of the tradition of bridal-mysticism, and contrasts it with that of Bernard of Clairvaux. According to Bernard, through the power of divine grace, the human person and God both come to find each other objects of mutual desire. By contrast, Luther, in Freedom of a Christian (1520), uses the bridal motif to describe the divine-human relationship as one of promise and trust. In this, the Reformer both appropriates and significantly reinterprets the bridal-mystical motif in accordance with the claims of his newly-minted Reformation theology of justification through faith.
Few biblical episodes have generated more theological interpretation across the centuries than that of Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, where he appears fearfully to resist the divine will in the moments before the passion sequence is initiated. Scholars of the early modern period, however, have tended not to notice how central the scene became in the wake of Protestant and Catholic reformation developments, renewed calls for spiritual self-examination and the resurgent phenomenon of martyrdom. This article addresses this lacuna by arguing that, in the case of England, Jesus in Gethsemane not only held acute resonances across different confessions, but resulted in interpretations that perpetuated a new kind of subjectivity, and one that influenced modernity and its notions of the divided self in a state of faith and doubt.
Despite the prominence of religious issues in the historiography of Restoration Scotland, understanding of the position of the Kirk in the Highlands remains sparse. This article seeks to address this lacuna through analysis of two related themes. Firstly, it looks at provision, discussing the Kirk's financial, material and manpower resources, as well as the challenge posed by Gaelic. Secondly, it traces the extent of Nonconformity, both Presbyterian and Roman Catholic, with a view to judging the degree of adherence to the established Episcopalian structure. It concludes that the Kirk, while facing challenges, retained a position of unrivalled religious dominance.
Traditionally, the British reaction to the League of Nations has been narrated in terms of an almost uniform acceptance. British Churches, in particular, have been seen as among its most enthusiastic supporters and principal campaigners for its creation. In fact, a significant amount of debate over the League erupted in the Church of England and the Free Churches. In these debates, Christian Socialists emerged as passionate League enthusiasts and conservative premillenarians as equally passionate opponents. Throughout, many of the key church leaders who were publicly supportive of the League continued to harbour deep private reservations.