Baptism, Church and Society in Modern Britain - (Studies in Christian History and Thought) by David M Thompson (Paperback)
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Book Synopsis This book is an enlarged version of the author's Hulsean Lectures in the University of Cambridge for 1983-4. It considers the main movements in the theology of baptism, both that of infants and believers, in Great Britain from the Evangelical Revival to the publication of the World Council of Churches Faith and Order Commission's consensus statement on Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry of 1982. Thus as well as the shifts in the Church of England from evangelical to tractarian, 'broad church' to liberal catholic, there is a survey of the views of Methodists, Baptists and Congregationalists, with reflections from the scene in Scotland and Ireland, during the same period. It offers a survey of popular belief and practice about baptism from the eighteenth century to the present, because of the author's conviction that theological movements have to be seen in their historical context. In the case of baptism, in particular, a consistent difference has persisted between popular perceptions and the Churches' expectations, which poses significant challenges to the understanding of the Churches' mission in contemporary society. 'Renewed interest in sacramental theology, with a focus on the way the churches have responded to Faith and Order's Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry prompts the need for an historical investigation of the changing theology and practice of the sacraments, and of baptism in particular, for even in Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry baptism was the Cinderella of the trio. The publication of David M. Thompson's perceptive and carefully judged Hulsean Lectures on Baptism, Church and Society in Britain since 1800, because it makes essential connexions, fills this kind of gap, and is therefore particularly welcome.' - John H. Y. Briggs, Senior Research Fellow in Ecclesiastical History and Director of the Centre for Baptist History and Heritage, Regent's Park College, University of Oxford 'David M. Thompson's 1984 Hulsean Lectures provided the only substantial and broadly-based academic study of baptism in Britain since 1800. Now revised, updated and expanded these lectures appear for the first time, providing the essential historical and theological background to the contemporary discussion of baptism. It also makes a significant contribution to the broader study of Christian initiation and related subjects such as the sacraments and liturgy. All the major British Christian traditions are skilfully discussed - Anglican, Nonconformist and Catholic - extending the original lectures' coverage and bringing it up to the key Faith and Order Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry. This is essential reading.' - Anthony R. Cross, Fellow, Centre for Baptist History and Heritage, Regent's Park College, University of Oxford David M. Thompson has taught Modern Church History at the University of Cambridge since 1970, and has been Reader in Modern Church History since 2001. He has been a Fellow of Fitzwilliam College since 1965 and is currently President of the College.



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