Jane Lead and the Tradition of Puritan Pastoral Theology
Capern argues that Jane Lead and the Philadelphians were part of a continuous, evolutionary tradition of transatlantic radical Calvinist Protestantism. Jane Lead’s works are compared with those of Eleanor Davies to suggest that the pastoral imperative of puritan and dissenting Protestant nonconformity led to emphasis on the ideas of John the Baptist, the Noahic covenant and the operation of the Holy Spirit in salvation. Lead’s household worship and feminine spirituality took millenarian thinking towards a new spatial and sensate imagining of the last days. Lead’s eschatology also moved beyond Behmenism to foreshadow ideas about the invisible church later seen in Jane Wardley, Ann Lee and the Shakers. Jane Lead was, therefore, crucial in the shift from a logocentric to an experiential Calvinist puritanism.