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Reformation Worlds

Antecedents and Legacies in the Anglican Tradition

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Sean A. Otto and Thomas P. Power

A reassessment of the precedents, course, and legacy of the Reformation has occurred in the present generation of academic writing. This collection of essays brings together research by established and new scholars on themes of the Reformation with a particular focus on its antecedents and legacies in the Anglican tradition. Utilizing a diversity of topics, approaches, and methods, this book adds measurably to our knowledge of the place of the Reformation in Britain and Ireland as well as its European, North American, and African particularities.
Exploring a variety of themes, this collection examines the Reformation in relation to key aspects of church organization, belief, sacrament, conversion, relationships with other denominations, theological education, church and state, worship, and issues of resilience and decline. While these themes are pursued broadly, there is a particular focus on the context of the Anglican tradition in terms of Reformation preoccupations and concerns. This collection’s thematic content, chronological span, and geographical range will also challenge accepted views, deepen understanding, and highlight new areas of enquiry, bringing new research and insights to bear on established observations.
Academics will find this book of particular interest for courses on the Reformation, Early Modern Europe, and the history of Christianity.
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Lapsed Member and Penitent Convert: Reformation, Liturgy and Conversion in Ireland in the 1690s

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Lapsed Member and Penitent Convert: Reformation, Liturgy and Conversion in Ireland in the 1690s

THOMAS P. POWER

In 1691, the bishop of Meath, Anthony Dopping, published A Form of Reconciliation of Lapsed Protestants, and of Admission of Romanists to the Communion of the Church of Ireland containing his proposals for a rite or form to be followed when lapsed adherents and Catholic converts were received into the Church of Ireland.1 Significantly, it appeared in the year after the victory of King William at the Battle of the Boyne. This essay probes the contents of the Form, the purpose of its author and its broader political and religious context.

In his desire to rehabilitate lapsed members and accommodate converts, Dopping looked to precedents in biblical and Christian history. He cited examples of occasions when peoples joined the Jewish nation because of its witness to the dramatic and miraculous acts of God. In this way, former enemies became part of the Jewish nation. In the post-apostolic period, the Christian church attracted only a few followers for fear of persecution; but when it was legitimated, many pagans were attracted to the material and professional advantages it provided.2

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