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DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-DA049-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved November 28, 2021, from

Article Summary

The term ‘Latitudinarianism’ designated, initially abusively, the attitudes of a group of late seventeenth-century Anglican clergy who advocated ecclesiastical moderation, voiced broad if heavily qualified support for religious toleration, and emphasized an undogmatic probabilism, ‘moral certainty’, a reasoned faith and moral performance over against infallibility, dogma, ritual performance and ‘unreasoning’ faith. They attempted to construct a ‘reasonable’ faith, with some emphasizing belief in carefully evaluated miracles to attest to the central truths of Christianity. The Latitudinarians had considerable influence on the thought of John Locke, among others, although Locke’s anti-clericalism, tolerationism and reticence on the Trinity went beyond their positions. The most important of the Latitudinarians, listed from the most eirenic to the least, were Edward Fowler, Benjamin Whichcote, John Wilkins, John Tillotson, Gilbert Burnet, Joseph Glanvill and Edward Stillingfleet; they were particularly influenced by the thought of William Chillingworth, the Cambridge Platonists and Hugo Grotius.

Citing this article:
Marshall, John. Latitudinarianism, 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-DA049-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2021 Routledge.

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