Prelate as Pastor
The Episcopate of James I
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Publisher: Oxford University Press
Number of Pages: 378
Width: 14.3 cm
Height: 22.3 cm
This is a study of the sixty-six bishops who held office during the reign of James I. Kenneth Fincham surveys their range of activities and functions, including their part in central politics, their role in local society, their work as diocesan governors enforcing moral and spiritual discipline, and their supervision of the parish clergy. Dr Fincham argues that the accession of James I marked the restoration of episcopal fortunes at court and in the localities, seen most clearly in the revival of the court prelate. This detailed analysis of the early seventeenth-century episcopate, intensively grounded in contemporary sources, reveals much about the church of James I, the doctrinal divisions of the period, and the origins of Laudian government in the 1630s. Prelate as Pastor offers a new perspective on the controversies of early Stuart religious history.
'the writing is clear and fluent, and the argument - if sometimes quite complex - is virtually never tortuous. Fincham has something illuminating and original to say on every aspect of the bishops' role and activities ... In the best sense professional, this is a book which any historian would be pleased to have written.' History Today 'a new perspective on early Stuart religious history' British Book News 'A far-reaching reassessment of the Jacobean church began some years ago. This book makes what is so far the most solid and considerable contribution to that process. It is based on thorough and judicious analysis of many sources.' R.A. Houlbrooke, History, February 1992 'a most interesting book ... We should nver forget that today's splits, like those of the seventeenth century, are rooted in a dissatisfaction with the national Church which is all too often justified. If Dr. Fincham helps us to understand this more clearly, and shows us models of episcopal behavior which might, if practised with any fidelity, extract us from this situation, then so much the better.' Gerald Bray, Churchman 'A far-reaching reassessment of the Jacobean church began some years ago. This book makes what is so far the most solid and considerable contribution to that process. It is based on thorough and judicious analysis of many sources.' R.A. Houlbrooke, University of Reading, History, Feb '92 'Fincham's detailed monograph supplies a long-awaited corrective' Rosemary O'Day, The Open University, Economic History Review, Aug '91 'Kenneth Fincham has produced an intensely focused study of the Jacobean bishops as a vehicle for his own revisionist contribution. The author has succeeded admirably in transforming his dissertation from 1985 into an important first book, a book intensely but not narrowly focused. Fincham must now be considered an important young ecclesiastical historian.' Howard Reinmuth, University of Akron, American Historical Review, December 1991 'a very fine book, which is required reading for all students of the period.' Maurice Lee, Jr., Renaissance Quarterly 'The work under review is an important contribution to this revised view, for the author examines a very large part of the surviving archival sources of the various dioceses of the English church with remarkable thoroughness. The impressive result is a totally different picture of the Jacobean episcopate in contrast to the caricatures of past scholarly critics. The work of scholarly revision has already gone far in this direction and undoubtedly will continue to do so. This excellent work is an important contribution to that process. Sidney A. Burrell, Journal of Church and State 'outstanding study ... Prelate as Pastor is essential reading for anyone interested in early Stuart Britain.' J. Sears McGee, University of California, Santa Barbara, Albion 'This is not only a very good book, but a very important one. Its account of the Jacobean episcopate is admirably researched, shrewdly thought out, sensitively observed, well expressed and likely to last. It is rare to put down a book of three hundred pages regretting only that it is not longer, but this is such a book. Dr Fincham still has more to say on this subject. It is to be hoped that saying it will not too long detain him from a second book of equal stature.' Conrad Russell, King's College, London, Parliamentary History '... a first-class monograph. ... his book is an impressive rehabilitation of the reputations of the Jacobean episcopate as a whole, of Archbishop abbott, and most of all of James I himself. There will be many speculations to argue over as a result of this fine work, but in future they will rest on a solid documentary base. That is the measure of Dr Fincham's achievement.' William Lamont University of Sussex EHR Shorter Notices April '94