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Durham e-Theses
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A case study of Lawrence Clarkson (1615-1667)

Dreher, Ute (2000) A case study of Lawrence Clarkson (1615-1667). Masters thesis, Durham University.



As the title indicates, my thesis is a case study of the religious radical Lawrence Clarkson (1615-1667). Chapter One, 'Lawrence Clarkson (1615-1667): Journeys of a Religious Radical' places Clarkson's biography in its socio-historical context. With his autobiography The Lost Sheep Found (1660) as a guide book, it follows him on his spiritual and geographical journeys through seven "churches" or religious groups from 1630 to 1660 - notably Antinomians, Baptists, Seekers and Ranters. It takes a close look at the fellow-radicals he met on the way and the controversies he got involved in, and thus integrates him in the religious landscape of mid-l7th-century England. In this chapter will also be found discussions of his early religious tracts. The focus of Chapter Two, 'The Captain of the Rant and the Learned Dr. Crisp: A Single Eye and Tobias Crisp's Sermons’, is theological. Based on a close textual comparison, and scriptural "dissection", of Tobias Crisp’s sermons and Clarkson's Ranter tract A Single Eye, it explores Crisp's influence on Clarkson with regard to Clarkson's conceptions of sin and the elect, his celebration of practical antinomianism, and his mysticism, ft also places A Single Eye in the context of other Ranter writings. The in-depth examination of the theological relationship between Clarkson and Crisp constitutes a major contribution to the study of radical religion in the mid-17th century. My thesis reveals Clarkson as a much more theologically sophisticated and significant figure than has hitherto been acknowledged. His importance does not only he in his identity as a particularly flamboyant Ranter prophet, but extends to the Antinomian movement as a whole. Furthermore, as a religious "traveller", he offers us some unique insights into the sectarian milieux of mid-17lh-century England.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:2000
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:01 Aug 2012 11:46

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