John Knox (Dictionary of World Biography: Renaissance)
Article abstract: The leading reformer and historian of the Protestant Reformation in Scotland, John Knox gave to Calvinism its Presbyterian expression in both England and Scotland and found in covenant theology the rationale for political militancy.
Although the exact date of his birth is still in dispute, John Knox was probably born about 1514 at Giffordgate, near Haddington, a small town located eighteen miles east of Edinburgh in the coastal district of East Lothian. His father, William Knox, was a modest tradesman, and his mother’s maiden name was Sinclair, but not much else is known about his family. He had a brother, William, who became a merchant at Prestonpans and traded goods between England and Scotland, but no other siblings are known. Like most bright young men of humble birth, Knox was educated for the Church. He attended Latin school at Haddington, but his college training is far from certain. Historians once thought that he went to the University of Glasgow, but the judgment now is that he attended St. Andrews University in the late 1520’s and early 1530’s and studied under John Major, one of the leading Scholastic thinkers of the day. While his style of argumentation owed much to Scholasticism, Knox was not taken by the Aristotelian teachings of Major. Years later, he claimed to have been quite moved by church fathers such as Augustine, John Chrysostom, and Athanasius. He also studied...
(The entire section is 2596 words.)
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