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Pastoral roles of the Jacobean episcopate in Canterbury province

Fincham, KC; (1985) Pastoral roles of the Jacobean episcopate in Canterbury province. Doctoral thesis , University of London. Green open access

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This thesis investigates the theory and practice of episcopal government in the English Church between 1603 and 1625. The source material consists of the records of seventeen diocesan archives in the province of Canterbury, in conjunction with primary printed and manuscript sources, such as sermons, theological treatises and polemics, and, where appropriate, the records of central ecclesiastical and secular government. It is proposed that the dominant image and practice was of the bishop as preaching pastor. The exemplar of the Apostolic bishop, which was set out in Pauline writings, could not be easily adapted to the realities of seventeenth century church government. Not merely had the episcopal office accumulated a series of non-pastoral functions, but its government also had a primarily judicial character. Nevertheless it is argued that, as a group the Jacobean episcopate managed to incorporate many aspects of the Pastoral ideal of St. Paul into their diocesan rule. Most bishops resided in their sees, attended their visitations in person, took a part in the running of their consistory courts, preached fairly regularly and supervised the clergy entrusted to their care. Extraneous circumstances helped to provide the right conditions in which this pastoral government could flourish. The divisive issue of ceremonial nonconformity, which could so easily sour relations between the bishop and his flock was largely stilled by James I's accommodating attitude to 'moderate' nonconformists and the consequent de facto toleration of occasional conformity. The King also supported the proselytising mission of the Church, and he restrained the hostility of Arminian prelates both to excessive preaching and to ceremonial nonconformity. This thesis, in short, seeks to demonstrate the strength and vitality of the Pastoral ideal among the Jacobean episcopate.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Pastoral roles of the Jacobean episcopate in Canterbury province
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by British Library EThOS. Some text and the the original pages 368 to 383 have been removed due to third party copyright.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of History
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1363643
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