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Christian Identity, Jews, and Israel in 17th-Century England$
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Achsah Guibbory

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199557165

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199557165.001.0001

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The English Church, Jewish Worship, and the Temple

The English Church, Jewish Worship, and the Temple

(p.56) 2 The English Church, Jewish Worship, and the Temple
Christian Identity, Jews, and Israel in 17th-Century England

Achsah Guibbory

Oxford University Press

This chapter shows how conflicts within the Church of England turned on its relation to the Jewish past and to Judaism. Whereas Foxe, Prynne, and Milton insisted that a reformed church must be divested of all traces of Judaism (which they identified with Catholicism), defenders of ceremony and episcopacy from Hooker through William Laud looked to Jewish precedent, emphasizing continuity not with the Church of Rome but with earlier Jewish worship and the Temple, which they saw as a symbol of centralized religion and stability in the kingdom. ‘Puritans,’ wanting further reform, were sharply anti–Judaic. Traces of these conflicts over reformed religion's relation to Judaism and the Jewish Temple can be seen in Spenser's and Herbert's poetry. Trying to make the English Church a counterpart of Solomon's Temple, where God's presence would dwell, Laudians contributed to a distinctive idea of English‐Israelite identity.

Keywords:   Church of England, Judaism, Church of Rome, Foxe, Hooker, William Laud, Milton, Spenser, Herbert, the Temple

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