The Church of England and the Bangorian Controversy, 1716-1721
The Bangorian Controversy was the most bitterly fought ideological battle of eighteenth-century England. Benjamin Hoadly, the low-church Bishop of Bangor, brought the wrath of his fellow churchmen upon himself when he preached his sermon ‘The nature of the Kingdom, or church, or Christ’ before the king in 1717: it denied the spiritual authority of the church, and was a call for a further Reformation. The struggle that followed was bitter, with far-reaching consequences. This first full-length study of the Controversy highlights its relationship with the 'Whig schism', illuminating an important aspect of the early career of Robert Walpole; it also brings out the theological and political tensions within English society during this era. High churchmen, low churchmen, Dissenters and deists all published their own controversial works, taking positions for or against the Bishop of Bangor. ‘The Church of England and the Bangorian Controversy’ is therefore an outline of the ideological landscape of English society as it entered the Georgian age. ANDREW STARKIE is Curate in the Diocese of Newcastle.
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