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Oxford University Press Inc
11 January 2018
Biography: historical, political & military; Biography: religious & spiritual; English Civil War; Other Nonconformist & Evangelical Churches; Religious & spiritual leaders
John Owen was a leading theologian in seventeenth-century England. Closely associated with the regicide and revolution, he befriended Oliver Cromwell, was appointed vice-chancellor of the University of Oxford, and became the premier religious statesman of the Interregnum. The restoration of the monarchy pushed Owen into dissent, criminalizing his religious practice and inspiring his writings in defense of high Calvinism and religious toleration. Owen transcended his many experiences of defeat, and his claims to quietism were frequently undermined by rumors of his involvement in anti-government conspiracies. Crawford Gribben's biography documents Owen's importance as a controversial and adaptable theologian deeply involved with his social, political, and religious environments. Fiercely intellectual and extraordinarily learned, Owen wrote millions of words in works of theology and exegesis. Far from personifying the Reformed tradition, however, Owen helped to undermine it, offering an individualist account of Christian faith that downplayed the significance of the church and means of grace. In doing so, Owen's work contributed to the formation of the new religious movement known as evangelicalism, where his influence can still be seen today.
By:   Crawford Gribben (Professor of Early Modern British History Professor of Early Modern British History Queen's University Belfast)
Imprint:   Oxford University Press Inc
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 235mm,  Width: 158mm,  Spine: 24mm
Weight:   600g
ISBN:   9780190860790
ISBN 10:   0190860790
Series:   Oxford Studies in Historical Theology
Pages:   424
Publication Date:   11 January 2018
Audience:   Professional and scholarly ,  Undergraduate
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Crawford Gribben has held positions in early modern studies at the University of Manchester, Trinity College Dublin, and Queen's University Belfast, where he is currently professor of early modern British history. He is the author of several books on the print cultures of Puritanism and evangelicalism.

Reviews for John Owen and English Puritanism: Experiences of Defeat

This is the most thorough treatment of Owen's life yet, drawing on a variety of sources. -- Glenn Moots, Anglican and Episcopal History For most contemporary English-speaking Calvinists, John Owen is an unending source of wisdom and inspiration Gribben gives even better reasons for esteeming Owen than those that prevail in Calvinist circles. Such theological insight forged in a context of political intrigue and personal adversity make Owen truly exceptional. -Darryl G. Hart, Ordained Servant Engaging, quotable, scholarly, exemplary -- these four words summarise Gribben's fine biography of John Owen. This book belongs in the libraries of universities and theological coleges as well as in the hands of any serious student of Owen or the Puritans. --T. J. Marinello, European Journal of Theology John Owen and English Puritanism is a remarkable achievement, offering a sophisticated presentation of Owen's life and writings as they are embedded in the religious, political, and literary cultures of his period. Gribben is an astute and detailed observer of the complexity, range, and shifts in Owen's thought, and his book establishes a new standard in study of one of the most complex and enduringly provocative thinkers of seventeenth-century nonconformity. --John Webster, Professor of Divinity, University of St. Andrews Crawford Gibben's superb book establishes John Owen as a towering figure in the culture and politics of seventeenth-century England. Readers have been deterred by the bulk and difficulty of his huge output of theological writings, but Gribben steers us clearly and expertly through the development of his ideas across the rapidly-shifting political landscapes of revolutionary and post-revolutionary England. --David Norbrook, Emeritus Merton Professor of English Literature, University of Oxford Crawford Gribben has here produced the most persuasive account ever of a multi-faceted career that ended in deep personal sadness and public failure. Owen was a profound Calvinist thinker who outlived the welcome of most of the millions of words he published, but he was as much a Lord General in the war of ideas as Oliver Cromwell was the Lord General of the clash of swords. --John Morrill, Fellow of the British Academy, Emeritus Professor of British and Irish History, University of Cambridge


  • Winner of Honourable mention for the Richard L. Greaves Prize of the International John Bunyan Society.
  • Winner of Honourable mention for the Richard L. Greaves Prize of the John Bunyan Society.

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