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The Reception of Continental Reformation in Britain$
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Polly Ha and Patrick Collinson

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780197264683

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197264683.001.0001

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Martin Bucer and Early Seventeenth-Century Scottish Irenicism

Martin Bucer and Early Seventeenth-Century Scottish Irenicism

(p.166) (p.167) 8 Martin Bucer and Early Seventeenth-Century Scottish Irenicism
The Reception of Continental Reformation in Britain

Nicholas Thompson

British Academy

The call for religious unification was part of a polemical project itself. Irenic concerns nonetheless represent another use of reception for reformation study: the hermeneutic of ecumenism. Scottish reception of the Strasbourg reformer Martin Bucer is a case in point. Bucer’s mediation between continental reformers and his prominent role in English Reformation history is more often noted than his appeal to Scottish divines in the seventeenth century. This chapter highlights the changing religious milieu of the Scottish Kirk as both Presbyterians and Jesuits alike appealed to Bucer’s writing. Bucer became a favourite of the Arminian Bishop and Royalist from Aberdeen, William Forbes. The chapter finds particular potency in Bucer’s ecumenical hermeneutic, which Forbes adopted as a means of bridging confessional divisions and even searching for agreement with moderate Catholics.

Keywords:   Scottish Kirk, Presbyterians, Jesuits, Martin Bucer, William Forbes, ecumenism, English Reformation

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