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Politics spun out of theology and prophecy: Sir Henry Vane on the spiritual environment of public power

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Sir Henry Vane the younger was highly critical of Oliver Cromwell's ecclesiastical policy. The article explores the idioms in which Vane conducted his attack on Cromwell, and shows how Vane spun a conception of both the politics of the present and the politics of the future out of various fibres of religious discourse. Vane cultivated a theologically based doctrine of liberty of conscience, and thus insisted that there were significant reasons of a religious nature for limiting magisterial power. Thomas Hobbes and Richard Baxter, among others, thought otherwise, and the article presents Vane as a contributor to a robust mid-seventeenth-century debate.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 39 Cawkwell Street, Malvern, VIC 3144, Australia.

Publication date: 2001-01-01

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