Bangorian Controversy

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Bangorian controversy. Loosed by Benjamin Hoadly, a low-church Whig cleric, appointed to the bishopric of Bangor in 1715. The following year he launched an attack on the non-jurors, arguing that their deposition had been lawful. In 1717 he followed with a sermon ‘My kingdom is not of this world’, in which he adopted a most extreme position—that Christ had not vested authority in any secular persons, that private judgement was sacrosanct, and that sincerity of belief was the ultimate test. Hoadly appeared to his opponents to open the floodgates to religious anarchy and William Law and others commenced vigorous pamphlet warfare. The revival of religious controversy was extremely unwelcome to Whig ministers and when the matter was raised in the lower house of convocation, that body was hastily prorogued, not to meet again until 1852.

J. A. Cannon

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Bangorian Controversy (băng-gô´rēən), religious dispute in the Church of England during the early part of the reign of George I. Benjamin Hoadly, bishop of Bangor, Wales, delivered a sermon (1717) before the king in which he denied that the church had any doctrinal or disciplinary authority. Advocates of ecclesiastical authority (among them William Law) attacked Hoadly's position, and a sharp controversy ensued, in which some 50 writers participated and about 200 pamphlets were issued. Attacks on Hoadly in convocation, the church assembly, led the king to suspend that body in 1717; it was not allowed to meet again until 1852.