The Reformation and the people
in The Debate on the English Reformation
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In the twentieth century, and particularly from 1960 to 1985, the English Reformation became prey to the new history. Views of history-writing and history as a discipline provide the backcloth for the debate about the Reformation. There has been much written on the attitude of Henry VIII himself to Protestantism. Historians of the spread of Protestantism or the persistence of Catholicism need to know what ordinary men and women believed. A.G. Dickens a historian of the German Reformation, made a concerted effort to 'understand the English Reformation as an integral part of the European Reformation'. J.J. Scarisbrick's The Reformation and the English People set out to reassert the view that the English Reformation was an official reformation and one that the people of England did not want. The question of the origins of the English Reformation clearly has a bearing upon the progress of that Reformation at popular level.


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