[Milton-L] puritan & other protestants

Kim Maxwell kmaxwell at stanford.edu
Thu Nov 15 14:26:42 EST 2007

1. J. Pelikan in his 2003 volume Credo makes this very point about creeds, that Christians sects or divisions all claim to be "original" in the sense of doctrinal conformity to scripture, that each successive creed only attempts clarification in the presence of some putative heresy or misinterpretation by another sect or division.  This continues to the present day.

2.  He also observes relative to the several sects you name that the Renaissance distinctions between sects were in general not strictly speaking doctrinal, matters of faith, but organizational, matters of order or church government.  Most of these sects I believe named themselves, as the relaxation of censorship during and just after the civil war allowed considerable freedom of religious expression. Church government at the time of course was intensely political, which, on Pelikan's view, linked politics with church order and, more remotely, church doctrine, in ways that are completely foreign to us today.

Kim Maxwell

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