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Reformation and Religious Identity in Cambridge, 1590-1644


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The character of the English Church at the end of the sixteenth and beginning of the seventeenth century has always been a contentious historical issue. Concentrating on Cambridge University - where the critical theological debates took place and where new generations were schooled in learning and prejudice - this book aims to shed new light on the question, making use of a wealth of previously underexploited material from the archives of the University and the Colleges, and paying attention to some significant and unjustly neglected figures.
After setting the scene in the seventeenth-century city and university, the book goes on to provide a careful and detailed analysis of the debate about Anglicans and Puritans, Arminians and Calvinists; it offers a lively account of bitter academic and religious rivalries fought out in sermons, academic exercises and in print.

DAVID HOYLE is Canon Residentiary at Gloucester Cathedral and Director of Ministry in the Diocese of Gloucester.


Until now, we have lacked an authoritative study of Cambridge divinity in the half-century leading up to the English Civil War. David Hoyle's fine monograph answers that need. [...] While the book never loses sight of the big picture, it also illuminates the individual profi les of its remarkable cast of characters, from Peter Baro and John Cosin to William Perkins and Samuel Ward. It is required reading for historians of the early Stuart church. ENGLISH HISTORICAL REVIEW
A fecund addition to the historiographies of both the universities and the religion of the period. [...] A vital addition to the historiography of the university in particular and the operations of power and discourse in religion under the late Elizabethan and early Stuart regimes. HISTORICAL JOURNAL


First Published: 20 Sep 2007
13 Digit ISBN: 9781843833253
Pages: 266
Size: 23.4 x 15.6
Binding: Hardback
Imprint: Boydell Press

Details updated on 05 Oct 2015


  • 1  Introduction
  • 2  Life and Religion in Late Tudor Cambridge
  • 3  Cambridge and the Boundaries of Conformity
  • 4  Barrett, Baro and the Foundations of the Faith
  • 5  Assurance and Anxiety 1595-1619
  • 6  The Seeds of Contention 1619-1629
  • 7  `Near Popery and yet no Popery'
  • 8  `Who Changed Religion into Rebellion?'
  • 9  Appendix
  • 10  Bibliography
  • 11  Index