lunes, 10 de mayo de 2010
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John Knox (c. 1510 – 24 November 1572) was a Scottish clergyman and leader of the Protestant Reformation who is considered the founder of the Presbyterian denomination. He was educated at the University of St Andrews and worked as a notary-priest. He joined the movement to reform the Scottish church.
While in exile, Knox was licensed to work in the Church of England, where he quickly rose in the ranks to serve King Edward VI of England as a royal chaplain. In this position, he exerted a reforming influence on the text of the Book of Common Prayer, title of a number of prayer books of the Church of England. The work of 1549 was the first prayer book to contain the forms of service for daily and Sunday worship in English and to do so within a single volume; it included morning prayer, evening prayer, the Litany, and Holy Communion. The book covered other occasional services: baptism, confirmation, marriage, 'prayers to be said with the sick' and a funeral service. It set out in Epistle and Gospel readings for the Sunday Communion Service. Set Old Testament and New Testament readings for daily prayer as were the set Psalms; and canticles, that were provided to be sung between the readings (Careless 2003, p. 26).
Knox first moved to Geneva and then to Frankfurt. In Geneva, he met John Calvin, from whom he gained experience and knowledge of Reformed theology and Presbyterian polity. He created a new order of service, which was eventually adopted by the reformed church in Scotland.
On his return to Scotland, he led the Protestant Reformation in Scotland, in partnership with the Scottish Protestant nobility. In the History of the Reformation in Scotland, Knox gives a record of the drama which unfolded. A supplication was laid before the Parliament by the Protestant nobility, decrying the corruptions of Roman Catholicism, and seeking the abolition of Popery. In response, the Parliament directed the Protestant noblemen and ministers to draw up "in plain and several heads, the sum of that doctrine which they would maintain, and would desire that present Parliament to establish as wholesome, true, and only necessary to be believed and received within that realm."
Parliament reconvened on 15 January 1561 to consider the Book of Discipline. The Kirk was to be run on democratic lines. The plan included a system of national education based on universality as a fundamental principle. Certain areas of law were placed under ecclesiastical authority.
He continued to serve as the religious leader of the Protestants throughout Mary's reign. In several interviews with the queen, Knox admonished her for supporting Catholic practices. Eventually, when she was imprisoned for her alleged role in the murder of her husband, Lord Darnley, and James VI enthroned in her stead, he openly called for her execution.
On 29 July 1567, Knox preached James VI's coronation sermon at the church in Stirling. During this period Knox thundered against her in his sermons, even to the point of calling for her death. However, Mary's life was spared, and she escaped on 2 May 1568.