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Noticeboard: church history

13 November 2015


THE subtitle of R. W. H. Miller’s book One Firm Anchor: The Church and the merchant seafarer, an introductory history gives a good idea as to its contents. There is a concentration on the Roman Catholic Church, particularly in later chapters, but other work, including that of Anglicans, is also covered (The Lutterworth Press, £25.50; 978-0-7188-9290-6).

No Establishment of Religion: America’s original contribution to religious liberty looks at the history and effects of the disestablishment of the Church in the United States. Edited by Jeremy Gunn and John Witte, the essays are diverse, with a range of views on what this policy meant to the founders of modern America and what it means now (OUP, £22.99 (£20.70); 978-0-19-986039-5).

The movement started by Joanna Southcott led to offshoots after her death, which are often dismissed as deluded. Philip Lockley challenges this view, and shows how those with millenarian ideas often worked hard to change the world around them through political and social means. Visionary Religion and Radicalism in Early Industrial England: From Southcott to socialism argues his case (OUP, £74 (£66.60); 978-0-19-966387-3).

Pioneers of Scottish Christianity by Roderick Graham introduces them and their mission. He draws a picture of what Scotland was like before the three saints Ninian, Columba, and Mungo (Kentigern) brought the faith to the nation, and describes the nature of the religion that they brought and its impact (St Andrew Press, £14.99 (£13.50); 978-0-7152-0965-3).

The Pietist Impulse in Christianity has often been viewed as a negative stereotype of Protestantism. In this book, edited by Christian Collins Winn, Christopher Gehrz, William Carlson, and Eric Holst, a more positive assessment is given. The essays trace the origins and effects of this fast-moving reform movement, which originated with the German Lutherans (James Clarke & Co., £25.50; 978-0-227-68000-1).

Keith Stanglin and Thomas McCall couldn’t find the book they wanted; so they wrote it themselves. Jacob Arminius: Theologian of grace seeks to bridge the gap between scholarly theological monographs and biography by being a work based on theology but in an accessible format. Their material is ordered into four chapters: the making of a theologian, God and creation, Providence and predestination, and sin and salvation (OUP, £18.99 (£17.10); 978-0-19-975567-7).

Katherine Van Lierre, Simon Ditchfield, and Howard Louthan have edited a volume of essays, Sacred History: Uses of the Christian past in the Renaissance world. The book covers ecclesiastical history, the intersection between sacred and national history, and a series of case studies illustrating other ways of writing history in the Renaissance period (OUP, £75 (£67.50); 978-0-19-959479-5).

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