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This article challenges the contention that during the Anglo-Saxon period the English considered themselves God's specially chosen people, like the Old Testament Israelites. The texts upon which this interpretation has been based are re-analysed; particular attention is devoted to the writings of Gildas, Bede, Alcuin and Wulfstan, the prose preface of the Old English ‘Pastoral care’, and the introduction to King Alfred's legislation. The English could see themselves as a Christian people, and thus among God's chosen, but they do not appear to have claimed to be the beneficiaries of a more particularist form of divine election.
‘Ineffabilis et summi patris’ (1 June 1497), a little-known letter from Alexander VI to Manuel i, king of Portugal (1495–1521), plays an important role in Joel Panzer's The popes and slavery (1996). For Panzer, ‘Ineffabilis’ clarifies the voluntary nature of submission by newly-encountered peoples to Iberian monarchs. A new and complete translation of ‘Ineffabilis’ shows that it is part of a legal tradition wherein voluntary subjection was one mode of enslavement. ‘Ineffabilis’ also reflects Manuel's broader attempt to gain an advantage over Spain in light of Vasco da Gama's impending voyage to India in July 1497.
This article is based on the sermons of the moderate Puritan minister Richard Culverwell, preached in his parish of St Margaret Moses, London, from the mid-1620s to the early 1630s, and recorded in detail by one of his leading parishioners, the fishmonger John Harper. It uses this material to discuss the reception of demanding Calvinist divinity, and to contribute to scholarly debates on the nature and impact of the Laudian regime in London. Although Culverwell continued to preach a Calvinist message, his sermons show a process of adaptation to changing times, and reveal the constraints and tensions that he was facing.
John Wesley required detailed records to be compiled of Methodist society members. One extant list is that of the Keighley circuit for 1763–5. This article, breaking new ground in Wesley studies, argues that symbols in this and other catalogues recorded members’ spiritual condition. These symbols are used to analyse recruitment, losses and spiritual change on a quarterly basis. They reveal that although recruitment in the circuit was high during a revival at the start of a new preaching regime, it fell quickly, many members departed and there was little overall improvement in spiritual condition. Recruitment and changes were not uniform across the circuit, pointing to local rather than regional or national influences.
The Evangelical awakening which took place in the province of Ulster during 1859 was one of the most important events in the religious history of the north of Ireland. Although it has received virtually uncritical acceptance by modern Evangelicals in Northern Ireland, few are aware that there was a significant minority of Evangelicals who dissented from offering the movement their wholehearted support. This article examines why one of nineteenth-century Belfast's most controversial Anglican clerics, the Revd William McIlwaine, was very critical of the movement. Not all critics were outright opponents of the revival, however. McIlwaine was one of the revival's moderate critics, who believed that it was partially good. Nevertheless, the awakening's physical manifestations and its impact on theology and church order deeply disturbed him. The article also explains why 1859 was a turning point in McIlwaine's ecclesiastical career, which saw him move from Evangelicalism to a moderate High Church position.
The Society of Jews and Christians drew on relationships formed before 1918 in urban social work, the suffrage campaign and pacifist organisations. Its career was much less smooth than that of its successor, the Council of Christians and Jews, because Liberal Judaism's founding role largely antagonised the Orthodox Jewish mainstream, and Christian affiliates sometimes failed to observe the agreement not to proselytise. This paper discusses the influence of the Revd James Parkes, and the exceptional circumstances of the rise of Nazism, in changing views on both sides, and also reflects on why historians may have ignored a pioneering initiative.