Thomas Jackson (theologian)

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Thomas Jackson (1579–1640) was an English theologian, and President of Corpus Christi College, Oxford. Originally a Calvinist, he became in later life an Arminian.

Life[edit]

He was born at Witton-le-Wear, County Durham, and educated at the University of Oxford, where he attended Queen’s College from 1595.[1] He became a probationer fellow of Corpus Christi College in 1606, and was soon afterwards elected vice-president there.

In 1623 he was presented to the living of St Nicholas, Newcastle, and about 1625 to the living of Winston, County Durham. In 1631 he was appointed President of Corpus;[2] and in 1632 Charles I presented him to the living of Witney, Oxfordshire. He was made a prebendary of Winchester in 1635, and was Dean of Peterborough from 1635 to 1639.[3]

Works[edit]

His chief work was a series of commentaries on the Apostles' Creed, the first complete edition being entitled The Works of Thomas Jackson, D.D. (London, 1673), edited by Barnabas Oley. The commentaries were originally published in 1613 to 1657, as twelve books with differednt titles, the first being The Eternal Truth of Scriptures (London, 1613).[3]

Views[edit]

Strongly against the Catholic doctrine on transubstantiation, he belonged to the "Durham House group" headed by Richard Neile.[4][5] He was an early anti-Calvinist among Oxford theologians. He made his views known only in the late 1620s, but stated that around 1605 he had already decided against predestination.[6]

In theology he was a syncretic Platonist.[7] He took an interest in the Epicurean view of free will, but argued for a middle way accommodating the Stoic criticism of the Epicureans.[8] His humanistic Platonism has been compared to that of Robert Burton; and William Prynne, arguing against William Laud's promotion of Jackson, claimed his learning only made him more dangerous.[9]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Diana Newton, North-East England, 1569-1625: Governance, Culture and Identity (2006), p. 133.
  2. ^ http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=63883
  3. ^ a b http://www.1911encyclopedia.org/Thomas_Jackson
  4. ^ Anthony Milton, Catholic and Reformed: The Roman and Protestant Churches in English Protestant Thought, 1600-1640 (2002), p. 197.
  5. ^ Andrew Foster, Archbishop Neile Revisited, p. 160, in Peter Lake, Michael C. Questier (editors), Conformity and Orthodoxy in the English Church, C. 1560-1660 (2000).
  6. ^ Nicholas Tyacke, Aspects of English Protestantism, C. 1530-1700 (2001), p. 269.
  7. ^ Michael Hattaway, A Companion to English Renaissance Literature and Culture (2003), p. 50.
  8. ^ Reid Barbour, English Epicures and Stoics: Ancient Legacies in Early Stuart Culture (1998), p. 96.
  9. ^ Angus Gowland, The Worlds of Renaissance Melancholy: Robert Burton in Context (2006), pp. 203-4.

Further reading[edit]

  • Sarah Hutton, Thomas Jackson, Oxford Platonist, and William Twisse, Aristotelian, Journal of the History of Ideas, Vol. 39, No. 4 (Oct.-Dec., 1978), pp. 635–652.

External links[edit]

Academic offices
Preceded by
John Holt
President of Corpus Christi College, Oxford
1631-1640
Succeeded by
Robert Newlin