More history: The Cambridge Platonists


Fr. Greg Jones mentioned the “Latitudinarians” as one of the voices of the historic Anglican communion in a post on his site recently. I wasn’t familiar with the term applied to a political group within the life of the church, and tracking down its meaning brought me to an account of the Cambridge Platonists:

“As divines and in matters of polity, the Cambridge Platonists argued for moderation. They believed that reason is the proper judge of all disagreements, and so they advocated dialogue between the Puritans and the High Churchmen. They had a somewhat mystical understanding of reason, believing that reason is not merely the sense-making facility of the mind, but, instead, ‘the candle of the Lord’ – an echo of the divine within the human soul and an imprint of God within man. Thus, they believed that reason could lead beyond the sensory, because it is semi-divine. Reason was, for them, of God, and thus capable of nearing God. Therefore, they believed that reason could allow for judging the private revelations of Puritan theology and the proper investigation of the rituals and liturgy of the Established Church. For this reason, they were called latitudinarians.”

Have any of the rest of you run across more information about this group?

Read the rest here: Cambridge Platonists – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Episcopal bishop, dad, astronomer, erstwhile dancer...