|1.||permitting or marked by freedom of attitude or behaviour, esp in religious matters|
|2.||(sometimes capital) of or relating to a school of thought within the Church of England in the 17th century that minimized the importance of divine authority in matters of doctrine and stressed the importance of reason and personal judgment|
|3.||a person with latitudinarian views|
|[C17: from Latin lātitūdō breadth, |
any of the 17th-century Anglican clerics whose beliefs and practices were viewed by conservatives as unorthodox or, at best, heterodox. After first being applied to the Cambridge Platonists, the term was later used to categorize churchmen who depended upon reason to establish the moral certainty of Christian doctrines rather than argument from tradition. Limiting that doctrine to what had to be accepted, they allowed for latitude on other teachings. The Latitudinarians thus became the precursors of the similar Broad Church (q.v.) movement in the 19th-century Church of England.
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