Latitudinarianism

A term applied both to those seventeenth-century Anglican divines who appealed to reason as a “source” of religious authority besides Scripture and church practice (e.g., Chillingworth,* Stillingfleet*), and to later Broad Churchmen such as the contributors to Essays and Reviews (1860), and men such as Whateley, S.T. Coleridge, and Kingsley.* The term signifies more a theological temper and method than a set of doctrines. Latitudinarians have often been distinguishable more by what they oppose—e.g., Puritanism, Deism, Tractarianism-than by any peculiar tenets of their own.