- Caroline Divines
The Caroline Divines were influential theologians and writers in the Anglican Church who lived during the reigns of King Charles I and, after the
Restoration, King Charles II (Latin = Carolus.) This was a golden age of Anglican scholarship. The term is used of writers and teachers of the Church, not necessarily saints.
aints and heros
Within the Anglican tradition, there have been certain theological writers whose works have been considered standards for faith, doctrine, worship, and spirituality. While there is no authoritative list of these Anglican divines, there are some whose names would likely be found on most lists - those who are commemorated in lesser feasts of the Church, and those whose works are frequently anthologized. [cite book|last=Booty|first=John|chapter=Standard Divines|title=The Study of Anglicanism|pages=163 ff]
The corpus produced by the Caroline Divines is diverse. What they have in common is a commitment to the faith as conveyed by Scripture and the Book of Common Prayer, thus regarding prayer and theology in a manner akin to that of the
Apostolic Fathers. [cite book|last=Booty|first=John|chapter=Standard Divines|title=The Study of Anglicanism|pages=163] On the whole, the Caroline Divines view the via mediaof Anglicanism, not as a compromise, but "a positive position, witnessing to the universality of God and God's kingdom working through the fallible, earthly "ecclesia Anglicana"." [cite book|last=Booty|first=John|chapter=Standard Divines|title=The Study of Anglicanism|pages=164] These theologians regard Scripture as interpreted through tradition and reason as authoritative in matters concerning salvation. Reason and tradition, indeed, is extant in and presupposed by Scripture, thus implying co-operation between God and humanity, God and nature, and between the sacred and secular. Faith is thus regarded as incarnational, and authority as dispersed.
Learned in theology
Among the Caroline Divines of the seventeenth century, the names of
Lancelot Andrewes, William Laud, Herbert Thorndike, Jeremy Taylor, John Cosin, and Thomas Kenpredominate.
Lancelot Andrewes (1555 –
25 September 1626) was an English priest and scholar, who held high positions in the Church of Englandduring the reigns of Queen Elizabeth I and King James I. During the latter's reign, Andrewes served as Bishop of Chichesterand oversaw the translation of the "Authorized Version" (or "King James Version") of the Bible. In the Church of England he is commemorated on 25 September with a Lesser Festival.
John Cosin (
November 30, 1594– January 15, 1672) was an English priest. Among his writings (most of which were published posthumously) are a "Historic Transubstantiationis Papalis" (1675), "Notes and Collections on the Book of Common Prayer" (1710) and "A Scholastical History of the Canon of Holy Scripture" (1657). A collected edition of his works, forming 5 vols of the" Oxford Library of Anglo-Catholic Theology", was published between 1843 and 1855; and his "Correspondence" (2 vols) was edited by Canon Ornsby for the Surtees Society (1868-1870).
Thomas Ken (July 1637 –
19 March 1711), English priest, was the most eminent of the English non-juring bishops, and one of the fathers of modern English hymnology
Archbishop William Laud (
October 7 1573– January 10 1645) was Archbishop of Canterburyand a fervent supporter of King Charles I of England. Laud was a sincere Anglican and loyal Englishman, who must have been frustrated at the charges of Poperylevelled against him by the Puritanelement in the Church. Laud's aggressive high church policy was seen by some as a sinister development.
His orthodox views towards the Presbyterians extended to
Scotland, where it led to the Covenantermovement and the Bishops' Wars. The Long Parliamentof 1640 accused him of treason, resulting in his imprisonment in the Tower of London. In the spring of 1644, he was brought to trial, but it ended without being able to reach a verdict. The parliament took up the issue, and eventually he was beheaded on 10 January 1645on Tower Hill, notwithstanding being granted a royal pardon.
Thomas Sprat(1635 – May 20, 1713), was an English priest. Having taken orders he became a prebendaryof Lincoln Cathedralin 1660. In the preceding year he had gained a reputation by his poem "To the Happie Memory of the most Renowned Prince Oliver, Lord Protector" (London, 1659), and he was afterwards well known as a wit, preacher, and man of letters.
His chief prose works are the "Observations upon Monsieur de Sorbier's Voyage into England" (London, 1665), a satirical reply to the strictures on Englishmen in
Samuel de Sorbière's book of that name, and a "History of the Royal Society of London" (London, 1667), which Sprat had helped to found. The "History of the Royal Society" elaborates the scientific purposes of the academy and outlines some of the strictures of scientific writing that set the modern standards for clarity and conciseness.
Jeremy Taylor (
1613- August 13, 1667) was a priest in the Church of Englandwho achieved fame as an author during The Protectorateof Oliver Cromwell. He is sometimes known as the "Shakespeare of Divines" for his poetic style of writing.
Taylor was educated at The
Perse School, Cambridge before going onto Gonville and Caius College, at Cambridge, where he graduated in 1626. He was under the patronage of William Laud, Archbishop of Canterbury. He went on to become chaplain in ordinary to King Charles I as a result of Laud's sponsorship. This made him politically suspect when Laud was tried for treason and executed in 1645 by the PuritanParliament during the English Civil War. After the Parliamentary victory over the King, he was briefly imprisoned several times.
Eventually, he was allowed to retire into Wales, where he became the private chaplain of the Earl of Carbery. Upon the Restoration, his political star was on the rise, and he was made bishop of Down and Connor in
Ireland. He was also made vice-chancellor of the University of Dublin.
Herbert Thorndike (1598-1672) was Canon of
Westminster Abbey. He was also an influential theologianand writer in the AnglicanChurch who was well respected during the reigns of King Charles I and, after the Restoration, King Charles II. His work would be considered very important in the 19th century by key members of the Oxford Movement. [http://web.mac.com/brian.douglas/iWeb/Anglican%20Eucharistic%20Theology/Blog/4D2FC248-F9DB-11DA-BF7A-001124732AA0.html]
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