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The Life and Writings of John Frith (1503-1533): The Development of His Concept of Religious Toleration in the Early English Reformation

The Life and Writings of John Frith (1503-1533): The Development of His Concept of Religious Toleration in the Early English Reformation (Hardback)

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Reformer John Frith was burned as a heretic during the reign of Henry VIII because he denied the Roman dogmas of purgatory and transubstantiation. This study seeks to trace the origin of Frith's adiaphorism. Chapter one introduces Frith and his adiaphorism in the context of the early English Reformation. Chapter two examines the historical development of the adiaphora concept, particularly as it relates to the English Reformation. The influence of Christian Humanism is explored, especially the contribution of Erasmus. Finally, the famous debate between Erasmus and Luther is found to contain both reformers' thoughts on this issue. Chapter three is a study of the life of Frith. Special attention is given to experiences and influences that may have contributed to the development of his adiaphorism. The role that William Tyndale played in this regard is discussed. Chapter four contains a detailed analysis of Frith's development of doctrinal adiaphora against the background of his publication "A Disputation of Purgatory". A brief history of the doctrine of purgatory is included.

Chapter five continues to analyze Frith's adiaphorism as developed in his treatise against transubstantiation entitled "Answer to More". A brief discussion of the doctrine of the real presence in the early fathers is also included. The basis of Frith's argument was that "Scripture" is the final authority in any dispute over doctrine. Any belief or ceremony not shown by "Scripture" to be essential to salvation was considered 'indifferent' and of secondary importance. This allowed Frith to argue for a toleration of divergent views in a spirit of Christian love. By applying his adiaphora principle to the most hotly debated issues of the sixteenth century, Frith courageously stood against the dogmatism and intolerance of his day.

Philosophy, Psychology & Social SciencesReligion & BeliefsChristianityChristian Churches & denominationsReligion & BeliefsReligion: generalReligious issues & debates Publisher: The Edwin Mellen Press Ltd Publication Date: 01/01/2008 ISBN-13: 9780773447523  Details: Type: Hardback Format: Books
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