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Elizabeth Evenden

This article explores the production of an edition of John Foxes Acts and Monuments (more popularly known as the ‘Book of Martyrs’), printed by Adam & Co. in 1873. The edition was prefaced by an Irish cleric, Rev. S.G. Potter, who, at the time of production, was vicar of St Lukes parish in Sheffield. This article investigates Potters career as a Protestant cleric and Orangeman, examining why he might have been chosen to preface a new edition of Foxes martyrology. Consideration is then given to the illustrations contained within the 1873 edition and what relation they bare to the woodcut illustrations in the editions of the Acts and Monuments printed during Foxes lifetime. This reveals a markedly different agenda behind the choice of illustration in the Elizabethan and Victorian editions.

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Andrew Atherstone

William Tyndale, the Bible translator and Reformation martyr, enjoyed a sudden revival of interest in the mid-nineteenth century. This article examines one important aspect of his Victorian rehabilitation – his memorialization in stone and bronze. It analyses the campaigns to,erect two monuments in his honour – a tower on Nibley Knoll in Gloucestershire, inaugurated in 1866; and a statue in central London, on the Thames Embankment, unveiled in 1884. Both enjoyed wide support across the political and ecclesiastical spectrum of Protestantism, and anti-Catholicism was especially prominent in the first initiative. Both monuments emphasized the blessings of the Bible in English, the importance of religious liberty, and the prosperity of England and the Empire as a result of its Reformation heritage. The article argues that controversy concerning Tractarianism and biblical criticism was brushed under the carpet, and Tyndales distinctive evangelical theology was deliberately downplayed, in order to present the martyr as a unifying figure attractive to a broad Protestant coalition.

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Suzanne Cole

Following an extended period of neglect, the early 1840s saw a dramatic revival of interest in English church music and its history, which coincided with the period of heightened religious sensitivity between the publication of Newman‘s Tract 90 in early 1841 and his conversion to Roman Catholicism in October 1845. This article examines the activities and writings of three men who made important contributions to the reformation of the music of the English church that took place at this time: Rev. Frederick Oakeley; Rev. John Jebb and the painter William Dyce. It pays particular attention to the relationship between their beliefs about and attitudes towards the English Reformation and their musical activities, and argues that such important works as Jebb‘s monumental Choral Service of the United Church of England and Ireland (1843) are best understood in the context of the religious and ecclesiological debates that were raging at that time.

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Peter Nockles
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John Morrow

Carlyle regarded the Reformation as a seminal event in the history of modern Europe, the starting point of an ongoing stage in human development. Reformation Protestantism gave birth to a more general and pervasive spirit of ‘reformation’ that Carlyle identified with the moral destiny of all individuals and communities. These qualities were epitomized by heroic figures such as Luther and Cromwell but they were also embedded in cultures that responded productively to the ongoing challenge of reformation. Having traced the history of the ethos of reformation through English Puritanism and in the commitment to transformative action or ‘work’ that gave rise to Britains emergence as a leading industrial and imperial power, Carlyle brought this reinvention of the Reformation to bear in his critique of the counter-reforming tendencies in early Victorian society that he saw as posing a profound threat to it.

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James Pereiro

The article explores some aspects of the intellectual climate of the first half of the nineteenth century and the new ideas about race and national identity. These in turn help to explain contemporary changes in historical perspective, particularly in respect to the English Reformation. Disraeli‘s novels reflect the ideas of the time on the above topics and echo contemporary historians in their views on the Reformation, its causes, and the religious and social changes that it brought about.

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Peter Nockles

This article charts and discusses the reasons for various significant shifts and developments during the nineteenth century of the reception of the Reformation amongst different denominations and groups within British Protestantism. Attitudes towards Foxes ‘Book of Martyrs’ are explored as but one among several litmus tests of the breakdown of an earlier fragile consensus based on anti-Catholicism as a unifying principle, with the Oxford Movement and the intra-Protestant reaction to it identified as a crucial factor. The selfidentity of the various British Protestant,denominations, notably the various Nonconformist bodies as well as the established Church and evangelicalism per se was at stake in the process of ‘reception’. Moreover, the emergence of more secular Protestant understandings of the significance of the Reformation as an essential stage in the emergence of modernity and liberty, often at odds with nineteenth-century evangelical theological interpretations of its meaning and legacy, are also highlighted. The result is an attempt to transcend the traditional focus on Protestant-Catholic disputes over the Reformation in narrowly bipolar terms.

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Andrew Holmes

This article examines Presbyterian interpretations in Scotland and Ireland of the Scottish Reformations of 1560 and 1638–43. It begins with a discussion of the work of two important Presbyterian historians of the early nineteenth century, the Scotsman, Thomas McCrie, and the Irishman, James Seaton Reid. In their various publications, both laid the template for the nineteenth-century Presbyterian understanding of the Scottish Reformations by emphasizing the historical links between the Scottish and Irish churches in the early-modern period and their common theology and commitment to civil and religious liberty against the ecclesiastical and political tyranny of the Stuarts. The article also examines the commemorations of the National Covenant in 1838, the Solemn League and Covenant in 1843, and the Scottish Reformation in 1860. By doing so, it uncovers important religious and ideological linkages across the North Channel, including Presbyterian evangelicalism, missionary activity, church–state relationships, religious reform and revival, and anti-Catholicism.

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David Ceri Jones

This article seeks to re-examine the arguments among early nineteenth-century Welsh Calvinistic Methodists about Calvinist beliefs. In particular, it uses the example of John Elias to explore the appropriation and re-appropriation of aspects of the theological heritage of the sixteenth-century Reformation in Wales. Examining the tensions between Calvinism‘s tendency to ever stricter interpretation and pressure in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries to liberalize Calvinistic Methodisms position under the influence of evangelicalism, it argues that Elias emerged as a defender of the moderate Calvinism that had been forged by Howel Harris and Daniel Rowland in the previous century.

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Simon Skinner

That hostility to the Reformation was a feature of the Oxford Movements outlook is a truism, but Tractarians’ anti-Reformation sentiments went much further than the purely theological. Tractarians consistently held that in its repudiation of antiquity and elevation of sola scriptura, the Reformation had launched a wider rationalism whose socio-economic as well as religious consequences they abhorred. If a Tractarian paternalism – which mourned the welfare consequences of the dissolution of the monasteries, and the rise of capitalism and its bourgeoisie,– had much in common with other nineteenth-century social criticism, a crucial difference emerged at the point of prescription. Their uncompromising advocacy of the church as the sole agency of amelioration, and promotion of such schemes as sisterhoods, sharply distinguished Tractarians,from advocates of legislative intervention or ethical socialism. Tractarians therefore looked not forward, to the ideal of a welfare state, but back, to the ideal of a welfare church.

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