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Deism in Enlightenment EnglandTheology, Politics, and Newtonian Public Science$
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Jeffrey R. Wigelsworth

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780719078729

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719078729.001.0001

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The spectre of High Church: politics and theology, 1709–19

The spectre of High Church: politics and theology, 1709–19

(p.109) Chapter 4 The spectre of High Church: politics and theology, 1709–19
Deism in Enlightenment England

Jeffrey R. Wigelsworth

Manchester University Press

The deists figured prominently in the turbulent theological politics during 1709–19, contributing to the discourses that analysed contemporary politics along with other observers. Political controversies such as the Bangorian Controversy, the ending of the War of the Spanish Succession, and the split of the Whigs in the House of Commons inspired deists' publications. The second decade of the eighteenth century saw Anthony Collins begin to emerge as the most visible deist in England. The same years brought Thomas Chubb and Thomas Morgan on to the political and theological stage. The politics advanced by all the deists during this period was Whig. Deist fortunes seemed on the rise in 1718 when the Whig ministry of Stanhope and Sunderland introduced a bill repealing the Occasional Conformity and Schism Acts. While Parliament debated the implications of ending the ban on occasional conformity, the deists continued their attempts to describe the natural world.

Keywords:   High Church, Thomas Morgan, Thomas Chubb, Whigs, Bangorian Controversy

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