‘Inexpressible horror’: The devil and Baptist life writing in Cromwellian Ireland

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Abstract

The Baptist movement in Cromwellian Ireland displayed a number of distinctive features. Adherents of the movement regularly claimed to have heightened spiritual experiences, which in a number of cases included first-hand encounters with the Devil. This article observes the political contexts in which these claims were made, and analyses attempts by Baptist leaders to promote a more critical spirituality and to counter illegitimate claims to supernatural experience. It argues that these unusual experiences were rhetorically enabled, but more reflective of their geographical than of their denominational context, in which Baptist leaders would struggle to sustain and also contain claims to spiritual experience.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)531-548
Number of pages18
JournalChurch History
Volume89
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 Feb 2021

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