Gods Irishmen: Theological Debates in Cromwellian Ireland

Hardcover | July 15, 2007

byCrawford Gribben

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Conflicts between protestants and Catholics intensified as the Cromwellian invasion of 1649 inflamed the blood-soaked antagonism between the English and Irish. In the ensuing decade, half of Ireland's landmass was confiscated while thousands of natives were shipped overseas - all in a bid toprovide safety for English protestants and bring revenge upon the Irish for their rebellion in 1641. Centuries later, these old wounds linger in Irish political and cultural discussion. In his new book, Crawford Gribben reconsiders the traditional reading of the failed Cromwellian invasion as hereflects on the invaders' fractured mental world. As a tiny minority facing constant military threat, Cromwellian protestants in Ireland clashed over theological issues such as conversion, baptism, church government, miraculous signs, and the role of women. Protestant groups regularly invoked the language of the "Antichrist," but used the termmore often against each other than against the Catholics who surrounded them. Intra-protestant feuds splintered the Cromwellian party. Competing quests for religious dominance created instability at the heart of the administration, causing its eventual defeat. Gribben reconstructs these theologicaldebates within their social and political contexts and provides a fascinating account of the religious infighting, instability, and division that tore the movement apart. Providing a close and informed analysis of the relatively few texts that survive from the period, Gribben addresses the question that has dominated discussion of this period: whether the protestants' small numbers, sectarian divisions and seemingly beleaguered situation produced an idiosyncratictheology and a failed political campaign.

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Conflicts between protestants and Catholics intensified as the Cromwellian invasion of 1649 inflamed the blood-soaked antagonism between the English and Irish. In the ensuing decade, half of Ireland's landmass was confiscated while thousands of natives were shipped overseas - all in a bid toprovide safety for English protestants and br...

Crawford Gribben is lecturer in Renaissance literature and culture at the University of Manchester, UK. He is the author of The Puritan Millennium: Literature and Theology, 1550-1682 and co-editor of a number of volumes including Enforcing Reformation in Ireland and Scotland, 1550-1700. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:304 pages, 5.98 × 9.29 × 0.98 inPublished:July 15, 2007Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195325311

ISBN - 13:9780195325317

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction2. The religious dynamic of the Cromwellian invasion3. Conversion4. Baptism5. Church government and social control6. The possibility of the extraordinary7. The ecclesiastical role of women8. Conclusion9. Endnotes10. Bibliography

Editorial Reviews

"This learned book is a major contribution to the literature on Puritanism and the Irish Cromwellians. As Gribben explores the theological controversies among Protestant colonists, he shows how their project of reformation was hamstrung by internecine disputes. His study sheds a flood of newlight on puritan ideas of conversion, baptism, church government, gender and the supernatural. It traces some of the key fault-lines within post-Reformation Protestantism, offering valuable insights into Protestant fragmentation. 'God's Irishmen' deserves a wide readership among historians ofseventeenth-century Ireland and early modern religion." --Dr John Coffey, University of Leicester, author of John Goodwin and the Puritan Revolution