Greg A. SalazarJul 1, 2023
Calvinist Conformity in Post-Reformation England
The Theology and Career of Daniel Featley
Oxford University Press 2022
Calvinist Conformity in Post-Reformation England: The Theology and Career of Daniel Featley (Oxford UP, 2022) is the first modern full-scale examination of the theology and life of the distinguished English Calvinist clergyman Daniel Featley (1582-1645). It explores Featley's career and thought through a comprehensive treatment of his two dozen published works and manuscripts and situates these works within their original historical context.
A fascinating figure, Featley was the youngest of the translators behind the Authorized Version, a protégé of John Rainolds, a domestic chaplain for Archbishop George Abbot, and a minister of two churches. As a result of his sympathies with royalism and episcopacy, he endured two separate attacks on his life. Despite this, Featley was the only royalist Episcopalian figure who accepted his invitation to the Westminster Assembly. Three months into the Assembly, however, Featley was charged with being a royalist spy, was imprisoned by Parliament, and died shortly thereafter.
While Featley is a central focus of the work, this study is more than a biography. It uses Featley's career to trace the fortunes of Calvinist conformists--those English Calvinists who were committed to the established Church and represented the Church's majority position between 1560 and the mid-1620s, before being marginalized by Laudians in the 1630s and puritans in the 1640s. It demonstrates how Featley's convictions were representative of the ideals and career of conformist Calvinism, explores the broader priorities and political maneuvers of English Calvinist conformists, and offers a more nuanced perspective on the priorities and political maneuvers of these figures and the politics of religion in post-Reformation England.
Crawford Gribben is a professor of history at Queen’s University Belfast.