The Journal of Ecclesiastical History


The Anglican Hierarchy and the Reformation of Manners 1688–1738

Tina Isaacs

Few have studied the early eighteenth-century Church. Caught between puritan triumphs and the Methodist revival, its polemics and efforts at rejuvenation have gone largely unnoticed. Those historians who have noticed describe an Anglican hierarchy lacking in talent and drive and a population devoid of piety and religious fervour. Both of these images are incorrect, as more recent scholarship has begun to suggest. Church historians now concentrate primarily on biographies of famous ecclesiastics and monographs (and articles) on some of the more lively events such as SacheverelPs trial and the Convocation controversy. But no one has systematically explored the Church's attempts to combat the decline brought about by the Toleration Act of 1689 and by its own avoidance of earlier enthusiasms.