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Jake Griesel

Biography:

I am a doctoral candidate in Historical Theology. I hold a Peterhouse Research Studentship and am studying under the supervision of Rev. Dr. Stephen Hampton. Prior to coming to Cambridge in Michaelmas Term 2016, I completed my M.Th (Historical and Philosophical Theology) in 2015 at the Jonathan Edwards Centre Africa at the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein, South Africa, where I was supervised by Prof. Adriaan C. Neele (Jonathan Edwards Center, Yale University). In 2016, I also completed my B.A. Honours in Latin at the University of the Free State as well as the Davenant Latin Institute’s Advanced Early Modern Theological Latin Course. My first degree was a B.Th (Theology), also at the University of the Free State (2013).

My research at Cambridge focuses on John Edwards of Cambridge (1637-1716) and the broader Reformed tradition within the later Stuart and early Hanoverian Church of England. The central thesis of this project is that, contrary to the claims of older scholarship, Edwards was not a marginalized figure in the Church of England on account of his 'Calvinism'. Instead, this study demonstrates that (1) Edwards was recognised in his own day and in the immediately following generations as one of the preeminent English conforming divines of the period, and (2) that Edwards’ works, despite some Arminian opposition, enjoyed a very positive reception among significant segments of the established Church’s clergy, many of whom shared his Reformed doctrinal convictions.

Overall, this study makes a substantial contribution to the largely uncharted field of later Stuart and early Hanoverian Church of England theology, and demonstrates that future accounts of the established Church in this period will have to afford both Edwards and his numerous Reformed contemporaries a considerably more prominent place than has hitherto been the case. This study not only confirms Stephen Hampton’s work on the persisting vitality of Reformed theology within the established Church during this period, but substantially develops it by demonstrating that, despite his overall thesis being correct, Hampton nevertheless significantly underestimated both Edwards' importance as well as the strength and numbers of conforming Reformed divines between the Restoration and the evangelical revivals (1660 – c. 1730). It furthermore problematizes scholarly depictions of the later Stuart Church of England as having developed a fairly homogenous 'Anglicanism', and argues instead that the theological landscape of the established Church in this period was more variegated than a number of recent studies have suggested. It therefore poses the question of whether there was such a thing as a unified 'Anglican' theological identity in the later Stuart Church of England.

Subject area and speciality

History of Christianity specialists:

John Edwards of Cambridge (1637-1716): A reassessment of his position within the later Stuart Church of England

Research Interests

I have a broad interest in Protestant theology and history between the Reformation and the Enlightenment (c. 1560 - c. 1750), but more particularly in post-Reformation Reformed orthodoxy and its development in England and the Netherlands:

  • Reformed scholastic theology
  • The Reformed tradition within the Church of England between the Restoration and the evangelical revivals
  • Dutch Reformed orthodoxy and the Nadere Reformatie
  • English Puritanism
  • Early modern Reformed theological links between the Netherlands and England/Scotland
  • Early modern centres of Reformed theology in England and the Netherlands - Cambridge, Oxford, Leiden, Utrecht, Groningen, Franeker

Teaching

  • Latin Tutor, Department of Greek, Latin, and Classical Studies, Faculty of Humanities, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa (January 2014 - November 2014)

Other Professional Activities

  • Initiator and lead coordinator, Symposium on 'Reformed theology and conformity in Englandʼs long Reformationʼ, Trinity College, University of Cambridge. Co-convenors: Esther Counsell, Samuel Fornecker, and Alice Soulieux-Evans. Funded by the Cambridge School of Arts and Humanities and the Cambridge School of the Humanities and Social Sciences. Scheduled for 21-22 November 2019
  • Contributing Editor, Post-Reformation Digital Library (2018 - present)
  • Fellow, Advanced Theological Studies Fellowship, Theologische Universiteit Kampen, Kampen, Netherlands (2018)
  • Coordinator of monthly primary source reading meetings, Jonathan Edwards Centre Africa, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa (2013 - 2015)
  • Digital Research Editor, Post-Reformation Digital Library project, a project of the Junius Institute for Digital Reformation Research of Calvin Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, MI, USA in collaboration with the Jonathan Edwards Centre Africa, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa (May 2014 - August 2014)
  • Administrative Assistant, Department of Greek, Latin, and Classical Studies, Faculty of Humanities, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa (July 2013 - December 2013)
  • Portfolio: Academics, Sola Gratia, Faculty of Theology Student Committee, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa (2011 - 2012)

Professional affiliations

  • Ecclesiastical History Society
  • Society for Reformation Studies
  • Yale-Edinburgh Group on the History of the Missionary Movement and World Christianity
  • Canadian Society of Church History
  • Canadian Theological Society

Collaborators

Key Publications

Unpublished dissertations

  • ‘Johannes à Marck (1656-1731) on the Definition and Nature of Theology’. B.A. Hons Dissertation, University of the Free State. 2016.
  • ‘Jacobus Elisa Johannes Capitein (c. 1717-1747): The Dissertatio Politico-Theologica de Servitute, Libertati Christianæ Non Contraria in Historical-Intellectual Context’. M.Th Dissertation, University of the Free State. 2015.

Book reviews

  • Jay T. Collier, Debating Perseverance: The Augustinian Heritage in Post-Reformation England (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018). Reviewed in Renaissance Quarterly 72.1 (Spring 2019), pp. 338-340. (invited)

Conference and seminar papers presented

  • ‘Reformed orthodoxy as conformity in the post-Restoration Church of England’, Symposium on “Reformed theology and conformity in England’s long Reformation”, Trinity College, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom, Scheduled for 22 November 2019.
  • ‘Confessional Reformed orthodoxy in the Church of England, 1660 – c. 1730’, The Greystone Online Postgraduate Seminar Series, Greystone Theological Institute, Scheduled for 23 October 2019. (invited)
  • ‘Too African for the Europeans, and too European for the Africans: The missionary struggles of Jacobus Elisa Johannes Capitein (c. 1717-47)’, Yale-Edinburgh Group on the History of the Missionary Movement and World Christianity, Yale Divinity School, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA, 29 June 2019.
  • ‘The darkest of the Delphick oracles: John Edwards of Cambridge (1637-1716) and the controversy concerning Gilbert Burnet’s Exposition of the Thirty-Nine Articles’, Tri-History Conference, Trinity & Wycliffe Colleges, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada, 21 June 2019.
  • ‘The Thirty-nine Articles and the preservation of Reformed orthodoxy in the post-Restoration Church of England’, Junius Institute for Digital Reformation Research, Calvin Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, MI, USA, 14 June 2019.
  • ‘Justification by faith alone and the necessity of good works in the English post-Restoration conforming Reformed tradition’, Canadian Society of Church History annual meeting, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, 4 June 2019.
  • ‘Setting the contours for a body of divinity: The Reformed scholastic prolegomena of Johannes à Marck (1656-1731)’ Canadian Theological Society annual meeting, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, 3 June 2019.
  • ‘Paving the way for Dutch colonial missions: Jacobus Elisa Johannes Capitein (c. 1717-47) and his defence of slavery’, Maritime Missions: Religion, Ethnography and Empires in the Long Eighteenth Century, German Historical Institute, Washington DC, USA, 24 May 2019.
  • ‘Vanquished by the Arminians?: The persistence of the Reformed doctrines of election, efficacious grace, and perseverance in the post-Restoration Church of England’, The Theology of Dort (1618–1619): Confessional Consolidation, Conflictual Contexts, and Continuing Consequences, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands, 9 May 2019.
  • ‘“They speak not the language of their Mother”: John Edwards of Cambridge (1637-1716), the theological identity of the English Reformation, and Church of England orthodoxy’, Society for Reformation Studies 26th Annual Conference, Westminster College, Cambridge, United Kingdom, 10 April 2018.
  • ‘How historical theology may inform historiography: The case of the post-Restoration Church of England’, Symposium on Discipline/Disciplines in the Early Modern World, Early Modern Interdisciplinary Seminar, Faculty of History, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom, 13 February 2019.
  • ‘Claiming the Reformation for the Reformed cause: John Edwards of Cambridge (1637-1716) and the battle for Church of England orthodoxy’, Remembering the Reformation Symposium, Lambeth Palace, London, United Kingdom, 25 October 2018.
  • ‘More than an Uncle Tom: Reconsidering Jacobus Elisa Johannes Capitein (c. 1717-47) and his defence of slavery’, Early Modern History Graduate Seminar, King’s College, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom, 8 October 2018.
  • ‘"That noble champion for the doctrines of grace": The reception of the works of John Edwards of Cambridge (1637-1716) among eighteenth-century evangelicals’, Advanced Theological Studies Fellowship, Theologische Universiteit Kampen, Kampen, Netherlands, 20 June 2018.
  • ‘George Whitefield (1714-1770) and his Calvinism in the context of Oxford's post-Restoration conforming Reformed tradition’, Ecclesiastical History Society Winter Meeting, Institute of Historical Research, London, United Kingdom, 20 January 2018.
  • ‘John Edwards of Cambridge (1637-1716): An Introduction’, Latimer Trust Theological Working Group, Oak Hill College, London, United Kingdom, 19 December 2017.

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