John Owen and English Puritanism: Experiences of Defeat

John Owen and English Puritanism: Experiences of Defeat

by Crawford Gribben


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John Owen was a leading theologian in seventeenth-century England. Closely associated with the regicide and revolution, he befriended Oliver Cromwell, was appointed vice-chancellor of the University of Oxford, and became the premier religious statesman of the Interregnum. The restoration of the monarchy pushed Owen into dissent, criminalizing his religious practice and inspiring his writings in defense of high Calvinism and religious toleration. Owen transcended his many experiences of defeat, and his claims to quietism were frequently undermined by rumors of his involvement in anti-government conspiracies.

Crawford Gribben's biography documents Owen's importance as a controversial and adaptable theologian deeply involved with his social, political, and religious environments. Fiercely intellectual and extraordinarily learned, Owen wrote millions of words in works of theology and exegesis. Far from personifying the Reformed tradition, however, Owen helped to undermine it, offering an individualist account of Christian faith that downplayed the significance of the church and means of grace. In doing so, Owen's work contributed to the formation of the new religious movement known as evangelicalism, where his influence can still be seen today.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780190860790
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 11/01/2017
Series: Oxford Studies in Historical Theology Series
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 424
Sales rank: 956,775
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Crawford Gribben has held positions in early modern studies at the University of Manchester, Trinity College Dublin, and Queen's University Belfast, where he is currently professor of early modern British history. He is the author of several books on the print cultures of Puritanism and evangelicalism.

Table of Contents


1) Apprentice puritan
2) Emerging theologian
3) Frustrated pastor
4) Army preacher
5) Oxford reformer
6) Cromwellian courtier
7) Defeated revolutionary
8) Restoration politique
9) Nonconformist divine


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