John Owen and the Civil War Apocalypse: Preaching, Prophecy and Politics, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

John Owen and the Civil War Apocalypse

Preaching, Prophecy and Politics, 1st Edition

By Martyn Calvin Cowan


220 pages

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Hardback: 9781138087767
pub: 2017-07-20
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John Owen was one of the most significant figures in Reformed Orthodox theology during the Seventeenth Century, exerting considerable religious and political influence in the context of the British Civil War and Interregnum. Using Owen’s sermons from this period as a window into the mind of a self-proclaimed prophet, this book studies how his apocalyptic interpretation of contemporary events led to him making public calls for radical political and cultural change.

Owen believed he was ministering at a unique moment in history, and so the historical context in which he writes must be equally considered alongside the theological lineage that he draws upon. Combining these elements, this book allows for a more nuanced interpretation of Owen’s ministry that encompasses his lofty spiritual thought as well as his passionate concerns with more corporeal events.

This book represents part of a new historical turn in Owen Studies and will be of significant interest to scholars of theological history as well as Early Modern historians.


'Martyn Cowan’s study of John Owen and the Civil War Apocalypse … must be recognised as one of the most important contributions to Owen studies, and a fine addition to the excellent Routledge series in "Religious Cultures in the Early Modern World."' – Crawford Gribben, Queen’s University Belfast in Journal of the Northern Renaissance

Table of Contents


1 Owen’s prophetic worldview

2 The identification and interpretation of providentially significant events

3 The obligation to ‘improve’ these providential mercies

4 The magistrate’s response to providentially significant events

5 The obligations of the magistrate and the search for a church settlement

6 Warnings of judgment to a negligent nation


About the Author

Martyn Cowan is a Lecturer in Historical Theology at Union Theological College, Northern Ireland.

About the Series

Religious Cultures in the Early Modern World

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Europe / Great Britain
HISTORY / Modern / 17th Century
RELIGION / General
RELIGION / Christianity / History
RELIGION / Christian Theology / Eschatology
RELIGION / Christian Theology / History
RELIGION / Religion, Politics & State
RELIGION / Theology