Lucy Hutchinson’s religious commitments inform her writing across its variety of genres. Critics and historians have tended to identify her as a Baptist, following the rejection of infant baptism that she records in her biography of her husband, John Hutchinson. But the recent publication of her theological writings allows for a more complicated account of her changing religious views. In the Life, Lucy Hutchinson showed how her husband’s theological commitments radicalized after the Restoration. His turn away from Protestant scholasticism towards a more independent engagement with the Bible facilitated his investigation of millennial theory. After his death, Lucy Hutchinson continued this autonomous theological exploration, and moved further from the orthodox mainstream. After the mid-1660s, she prepared a sequence of theological writings that evidence her increasingly eclectic religious style. These documents suggest that she did not resolve some of her most dramatic movements away from Reformed orthodoxy. In these writings, Hutchinson negotiated a critical distance from her husband’s legacy, the Reformed confessional tradition, and the options available in any of the available dissenting congregations.
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