James Ussher (1581-1656), Archbishop of Armagh, is popularly known as a proponent of young earth creationism due to the insertion of dates from his biblical chronology into many editions of the King James Version of the Bible. Despite this popular portrayal, historians have recognized Ussher’s importance in the ecclesiological and theological debates of the seventeenth century and his stature as one of the great scholarly intellects of early modern Europe. This volume, complete with a helpful introduction by a leading scholar in the field, seeks to introduce four of Ussher’s sermons and two treatises on church government to a modern audience.
The writings of Ussher presented here contain some material printed for the first time as well as a selection of Ussher’s better known treatises, such as The Original of Bishops and Metropolitans (1644) and The Reduction of Episcopacy (1657). Together these sermons and treatises address the theme of the Church—its nature, its unity, its purity, its government, and how it must deal with difference. Combining these items together with helpful editorial notes, this volume promises to stimulate theological reflection on a theme highly relevant for the church today, especially for those within the Reformed and Anglican traditions.
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