‘Practical Divinity’: The Works and Life of Revd Richard Greenham, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

‘Practical Divinity’

The Works and Life of Revd Richard Greenham, 1st Edition

By Kenneth L. Parker, Eric J. Carlson


424 pages

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Hardback: 9781840142006
pub: 1998-09-17
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Richard Greenham was one of the most important and respected figures among the Elizabethan clergy. His contemporaries described him as the founder of a previously unknown pastoral art: the cure of cases of conscience. Despite his fame in the Elizabethan period as a model pastor, pioneer in reformed casuistry, and founder of one of the first rectory seminaries, scholars have made little use of his life and works in their study of Elizabethan religious life. This study restores Richard Greenham to the central place he held in the development of Elizabethan Reformed parochial ministry. The monograph-length introduction includes a biography, an analysis of his pastoral style, and a study of his approach to curing cases of conscience. The transcription of Rylands English Manuscript 524, cross-referenced with the published editions of the sayings, offers a useful source to scholars who wish to study the collecting and ’framing’ process of the humanist pedagogical tradition. The selection of early published works includes Greenham’s (unfinished) catechism, treatises on the Sabbath and marriage, and advice on reading scripture and educating children.


'…encourage[s] historians to focus their attention not on sterile academic debates about theology, or the definition of a puritan, but on the parishes of England, where ministers sought to put their theology into practice.' Continuity and Change, Vol. 14, No. 3 '…a highly satisfying work…beautifully produced…it has great value for all who want to trace the way in which the thought of the Reformation was transmitted to the people of the late 16th and early 17th centuries.' The Banner of Truth, No. 440 ’Professors Carlson and Parker have broadened access to a magnificent primary source, employing their editorial sensitivity and their splendid critical acumen to produce a volume that will prove a crucial ingredient in our comprehension of early modern godly spirituality.’ The Seventeenth Century, Vol. XIV, no. 1 ’Parker and Carlson provide a superbly nuanced and subtle reading of Greenham’s writings set within the context of his pastoral concerns…Practical Divinity is a model account.’ Ecclesiastical History 'This superb re-instatement of a long-forgotten Elizabethan pastor is wholly recommended… An excellent resource for all students of Reformed pastoral practice and the human heart under varied spiritual conditions.' Peace and Truth

Table of Contents

Contents: Part One: Greenham’s Life and Legacy: Introduction; A biographical sketch of Greenham’s life; Greenham’s legacy; The Greenham sayings in their literary and historical context; Greenham’s pastoral ministry; The cure of afflicted consciences; The theological foundations of Greenham’s cure of afflicted consciences; Another comment concerning the name ’puritan’; Part Two: The Sayings of Richard Greenham: Ryland’s English Manuscript 524, folios 1-72; Part Three: Selected Texts from Greenham’s Works (1599): Selected texts: an editor’s introduction; ’A Short Forme of Catechising’; ’A large Treatise of the Sabboth’; ’A Treatise of a Contract before Marriage’; ’A profitable treatise containing a direction for the reading and understanding of the holy Scriptures’; ’Of the good education of children’; Appendix 1: Bibliography of the published works of Richard Greenham; Appendix 2: Comparison of ’Grave Counsels’ (1st edn, 1599) and Rylands English Manuscript 524; Select bibliography; Index.

About the Series

St Andrews Studies in Reformation History

With the publication of its 100th book in 2012, the St Andrews Studies in Reformation Studies series celebrated an impressive publishing achievement. Since its establishment in 1995 the series has consistently offered high-quality, innovative and thought-provoking research in the field of early modern religious history. By encouraging authors to adopt a broad and inclusive interpretation of ’Reformation’, the resultant publications have done much to help shape current interdisciplinary interpretations of early-modern religion, expanding attention far beyond narrow theological concerns. Each title within the series has added to a body of international research showing how the ripples of the Reformation spread to virtually every corner of European society, both Protestant and Catholic, and often beyond. From family life, education, literature, music, art and philosophy, to political theory, international relations, economics, colonial ventures, science and military matters, there were few aspects of life that remained untouched in some way by the spirit of religious reform. As well as widening conceptions of the Reformation, the series has for the last fifteen years provided a publishing outlet for work, much of it by new and up-and-coming scholars who might otherwise have struggled to find an international platform for their work. Alongside these monographs, a complementary selection of edited volumes, critical editions of important primary sources, bibliographical studies and new translations of influential Reformation works previously unavailable to English speaking scholars, adds further depth to the topic. By offering this rich mix of approaches and topics, the St Andrews series continues to offer scholars an unparalleled platform for the publication of international scholarship in a dynamic and often controversial area of historical study.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General