John Owen in the Irish Times

This article appeared on the The Irish Times website, 6 December 2017. Ireland’s first revolution was part of a long religious war. By 1649, the island had been in turmoil for eight years, since unrest in Ulster had spiralled into a national conflict involving five independent armies, from three nations, in a bewildering succession of alliances.…

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Thoughts on Reformation day

Exactly five hundred years ago, on 31 October 1517, an undistinguished professor of theology in a small German town posted a list of ideas that he hoped might contribute to ongoing debates about the reformation of the church. Or so the story goes. Martin Luther’s voice was one among many making suggestions about how the…

My review of the Cowan and McGraw monographs

John Owen (1616-83) is attracting increasing attention far beyond the theological circles in which his memory was, for many years, preserved. Owen has long been recognised as having been central to the rise and fall of the English republic – preaching to MPs on the day after the execution of Charles I, accompanying Cromwell as…

More prospects for John Owen studies

Earlier this summer, prompted by the inaugural conference of the Jonathan Edwards Centre (UK) and a glance through M. X. Lesser's Reading Jonathan Edwards, I reflected on similarities and differences between academic approaches to the study of John Owen and Jonathan Edwards. The recent monographs by Martyn Cowan and Ryan McGraw have reinforced our need to pursue…

Bibliography: Christopher Haigh on “The Church of England, the nonconformists and reason”

Christopher Haigh, "The Church of England, the nonconformists and reason: Another Restoration controversy," Journal of Ecclesiastical History (2017), pp. 1-26 [available here]. Christopher Haigh's latest intervention in the discussion about the character of Restoration conformity and nonconformity sits alongside the article he published in the same journal last year, and raises the hopeful prospect that he may have much…

Ryan McGraw’s new book on Owen

Just announced on Amazon - and due for publication in September - is a new book on Owen by Ryan M. McGraw, professor of systematic theology at Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. While the contents aren't yet entirely visible, the book appears to collect material already published in some of McGraw's excellent essays on Owen's place…

Martyn Cowan’s new book on Owen

Martyn Cowan, who teaches historical theology at Union Theological College, which is part of the Institute of Theology, Queen's University Belfast, has just published John Owen and the civil war apocalypse: Preaching, prophecy and politics. You can read a very lengthy section here. Having read some of this material in its earlier iteration, I know this…

John Owen and the “Plymouth Brethren”

I've spent the last few days attending the biennial conference of the Brethren Historians and Archivists Network, which was held this year in Maynooth. Among many excellent presentations, Jean DeBernardi (University of Alberta) spoke on "The emplacement and indigenization of the Brethren movement in Penang and Singapore"; Donald Akenson (Queen's University, Kingston) thought about "Remembering Rodney King:…

Beginning research in early modern religious history

Formative reading It is useful to develop a considered approach to the discipline of history, to your research project, and to the opportunities to which your project might lead. These books offer useful insights into the kinds of work that research in early modern religious history might involve: On doing historical work: James M. Banner,…