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Debating Perseverance : The Augustinian Heritage in Post-Reformation England (Hardcover) (Jay T.
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The Church of England during the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries is usually described as forming either a Calvinist consensus or an Anglican middle way steeped in an ancient catholicity. Debating Perseverance sheds light on the influence of both the early church and the Reformed churches on the church by surveying debates on perseverance of the saints in which readings of Augustine were involved. It begins with a reassessment of the Lambeth Articles (1595) and the heated Cambridge debates in which they were forged, demonstrating that perseverance played a critical role. It then investigates the failed attempt of the British delegation to the Synod of Dort to achieve solidarity with the international Reformed community on perseverance in a way that was also respectful of minority opinions. The study returns to English soil to evaluate the supposedly Arminian Richard Montagu and the turmoil he caused by challenging the Reformed consensus and the Synod of Dort. It finishes by surveying a Puritan debate that occurred following England's civil war, when the pro-Dort party had triumphed. Jay T. Collier's study uncovers competing readings of Augustine on perseverance within the Reformed tradition-one favoring the perseverance of the saints and the other denying it. Rather than emphasizing one source of England's religious identity to the neglect of another, this study recognizes England's struggles with perseverance as emblematic of its troubled pursuit of a Reformed and ancient catholicity.