The literature of religious controversy that appeared between 1603 and 1642 was concerned with much more than debates on predestinarian theology. Instead, it should be seen as a vital conduit for the discussion of one of the most powerful legacies of the English Reformation: the relationship of church and state. The chapter explores this theme by indicating how the reformation process generated political questions on the nature of power over and outside of the Church, before tracing prominent themes in the controversial literature of the Jacobean and Caroline Churches. The chapter argues that religious controversy drove the process of state-formation in the British Atlantic world, and fed into debates on liberty, toleration, and freedom of conscience.
Prior, C. W. A. (2017). Early Stuart Controversy. In A. Hiscock, & H. Wilcox (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Early Modern Literature and Religion, 69-83. Oxford University Press (OUP). doi:10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199672806.013.6