Ranters, name given to the adherents of an antinomian movement in England about the time of the Commonwealth and Protectorate (1649–59). Its principal teaching was pantheistic, that God is present in nature. The Ranters appealed to the inner experience of Jesus and denied the authority of Scripture. They were accused of fostering immorality and were legislated against by Parliament and vigorously suppressed. They were often confused with the Quakers. In the 19th cent. the Primitive Methodists were sometimes called Ranters.
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