Friday, 17 May 2019

Marilyn Lewis: Henry Hallywell (1641-1703): A Cambridge Origenist in Parochial Sussex

Henry Hallywell was a pupil at Christ’s College, Cambridge, of George Rust, the probable author of A Letter of Resolution concerning Origen (1661). Hallywell fully accepted Rust’s Origenism, and his writings also demonstrate the influence of Henry More, Ralph Cudworth and Benjamin Whichcote. Writing from a succession of parochial livings in rural Sussex, Hallywell’s Origenism was expressed in a series of short books aimed at a general educated readership. Drawing on these publications, as well as on his six unpublished letters to Henry More, this paper will explore Hallywell’s Origenism in four areas of his soteriological thought: 1) the pre-existence of souls; 2) the doctrine of accommodation; 3) deiformity, with an emphasis on participation in the absolute goodness of God; and 4) the final judgement and millennium. Hallywell’s rejection of Calvinist double predestination, his emphasis on personal responsibility and freedom, and his affirmation of God’s loving desire to save all creation will be explored. Despite recent scholarly doubts concerning the existence of Cambridge Platonism as a distinct strand in seventeenth-century theological/philosophical thought, Hallywell will be presented as an exemplary member of this circle, who has only recently received sustained attention.

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