The mystical theology of Peter Sterry : a study in neoplatonist Puritanism.
Teply, Alison Jane
University of Cambridge
Faculty of Divinity
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
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Teply, A. J. (2004). The mystical theology of Peter Sterry : a study in neoplatonist Puritanism. (Doctoral thesis). https://doi.org/10.17863/CAM.11642
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Peter Sterry (1613-72) was a complex and fascinating man living amid tumultuous times. Largely neglected and ignored by historians and philosophers in the centuries since his death, Sterry nonetheless deserves attention as an impmtant member of the Cambridge Platonist movement, a key forerunner of the English nonconformists, and, in addition, as a prominent espouser of millennarianism. Interestingly, despite the everpresent mysticism in his works, Sterry's years as Cromwell's chaplain meant that, rather than being an other-worldly clergyman, he was intimately connected with the politics of his day. Moreover, as both a Calvinist and a Platonist, Sterry ingeniously combined two rather . different modes of thinking. Yet his commitment to both Calvinism and Platonism lead to several tensions in his work, some of which are never entirely reconciled. Sterry's influence on the early development of Cambridge Platonism has been unappreciated, and yet it is said that he was one of the first to introduce Platonism into the University of Cambridge. Indeed, many of Sterry's ideas tie in closely with those of Cambridge Platonism, including toleration, the love rather than the wrath of God, self-determination, the importance of Christian morality, and Reason as the 'candle of the Lord' (albeit in Sterry's case with Calvinist reservations). From his monist ideas of creation, to his attractive desire for freedom of conscience, and his rather unorthodox belief in universal salvation, the two themes most encapsulating Sterry's thought are love and unity. All things in creation attain true meaning only in the unifying light and love of Christ.
This record's DOI: https://doi.org/10.17863/CAM.11642