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Religion, politics and the past in post-revolutionary England

Reformation without end reinterprets the English Reformation. No one in eighteenth-century England thought that they lived during ‘the Enlightenment’. Instead, they thought that they still faced the religious, intellectual and political problems unleashed by the Reformation, which began in the sixteenth century. They faced those problems, though, in the aftermath of two bloody seventeenth-century political and religious revolutions.

This book is about the ways the eighteenth-century English debated the causes and consequences of those seventeenth-century revolutions. Those living in post-revolutionary England conceived themselves as living in the midst of the very thing which they thought had caused the revolutions: the Reformation. The reasons for and the legacy of the Reformation remained hotly debated in post-revolutionary England because the religious and political issues it had generated remained unresolved and that irresolution threatened more civil unrest. For this reason, most that got published during the eighteenth century concerned religion. This book looks closely at the careers of four of the eighteenth century’s most important polemical divines, Daniel Waterland, Conyers Middleton, Zachary Grey and William Warburton. It relies on a wide range of manuscript sources, including annotated books and unpublished drafts, to show how eighteenth-century authors crafted and pitched their works.

Author: Alec Ryrie

This book is about one of the most extraordinary national transformations in European history. During 1559 and 1560, the kingdom of Scotland experienced what was arguably the first modern revolution. The book aims to present a new synthesis of ideas on the origins of the Scottish Reformation, building on the recent scholarship but also suggesting some new directions. It asks not only why the Scottish Reformation took place, but why this Reformation took place, rather than one of the many other 'Reformations' - and, indeed, counter-Reformations - that seemed possible in sixteenth-century Scotland. It tries to reconnect religion and politics, and to trace their interaction. In particular, it emphasises how acts or threats of violence drove political processes and shaped religious culture. Violence isolated moderates and aggravated division. Sometimes it discredited those who applied it. Equally often, it managed to destroy its targets, and those who refused to use violence were outmanoeuvred. As such this is a tale of few villains and fewer heroes. The book also tries to place the Scottish Reformation on the wider stage of the European Reformation. Despite the nationalism of the traditional accounts, and of much Scottish history in general, the Reformation's natural stage was all Europe. The Scottish Reformation can be illuminated by international comparisons, and it was itself an international phenomenon. Religious developments in England and France, in particular, were a decisive influence on Scottish events.

Author: Tom Betteridge

This book is a study of the English Reformation as a poetic and political event. It examines the political, religious and poetic writings of the period 1520-1580, in relation to the effects of confessionalization on Tudor writing. The central argument of the book is that it is a mistake to understand this literature simply on the basis of the conflict between Protestantism and Catholicism. Instead one needs to see Tudor culture as fractured between emerging confessional identities, Protestant and Catholic, and marked by a conflict between those who embraced the process of confessionalization and those who rejected it. Sir Richard Morrison's A Remedy for Sedition was part of the Henrician government's propaganda response to the Pilgrimage of Grace. Edwardian politicians and intellectuals theorized and lauded the idea of counsel in both practice and theory. The book discusses three themes reflected in Gardiner's 1554 sermon: the self, the social effects of Reformation, and the Marian approaches to the interpretation of texts. The Marian Reformation produced its own cultural poetics - which continued to have an influence on Tudor literature long after 1558. The decade following the successful suppression of the Northern Rebellion in 1570 was a difficult one for the Elizabethan regime and its supporters. An overview of Elizabethan poetics and politics explains the extent to which the culture of the period was a product of the political and poetic debates of the early years of the Queen's reign.

Each age has used the debate about the English Reformation in its own way and for its own ends. This book is about the changing nature of the debate on the English Reformation, and is a study of Reformation historiography. It focuses the historiography of the Reformation as seen through the eyes of men who were contemporaries of the English Reformation, and examines the work of certain later writers from Thomas Fuller to John Strype. The book discusses the history of the sixteenth-century Reformation as written by modernist professional historians of the later nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first centuries. All through the Tudor times the tide of Reformation ebbed and flowed as the monarch willed. The book sets out modern debates concerning the role of Henry VIII, or his ministers, the Reformation and the people of England, and the relative strength of Protestantism or Catholicism. Catholics and Protestants alike openly used the historical past to support their contemporary political arguments. Additionally, the nature of religious identities, and the changes which occurred in the Church of England as a result of the Reformation are also explained. The history of the Reformation in the 1990s and 2000s has to be viewed within the context of research assessment and peer review. The book shows how persistent the threat of postmodernist theory is to the discipline of history, even as leading academic authorities on the Reformation have rejected it out of hand.

Guns, ships and printing presses
Torbjørn L. Knutsen

Reformation’. The gunpowder revolution and political change The feudal organization of society sustained a class of noble landowners and trained them as warriors. The advent of gunpowder destroyed this class. The mounted warriors became easy targets for the new handguns and cannons. And when it became obvious that an untrained foot soldier equipped with an arquebus could kill a nobleman from a safe distance, the cavalry lost its leading role in warfare; the warrior-noblemen were rendered obsolete in war, and the cavaliers saw their position in civil

in A history of International Relations theory (third edition)
Vivienne Westbrook

In 1611 the King James Bible was printed with minimal annotations, as requested by King James. It was another of his attempts at political and religious reconciliation. Smaller, more affordable, versions quickly followed that competed with the highly popular and copiously annotated Bibles based on the 1560 Geneva version by the Marian exiles. By the nineteenth century the King James Bible had become very popular and innumerable editions were published, often with emendations, long prefaces, illustrations and, most importantly, copious annotations. Annotated King James Bibles appeared to offer the best of both the Reformation Geneva and King James Bible in a Victorian context, but they also reignited old controversies about the use and abuse of paratext. Amid the numerous competing versions stood a group of Victorian scholars, theologians and translators, who understood the need to reclaim the King James Bible through its Reformation heritage; they monumentalized it.

Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
D.G. Paz

This article addresses three topics. It describes Chartisms creation of a ‘peoples history’ as an alternative to middle-class history, whether Whig or Tory. It locates the sources, most of which have not been noticed before, for the Chartist narrative of the English Reformation. William Cobbetts reinterpretation of the English Reformation is well known as a source for the working-class narrative; William Howitts much less familiar but more important source, antedating Cobbetts History of the Protestant Reformation in England, is used for the first time. The article reconstructs that narrative using printed and manuscript lectures and published interpretations dating from the first discussions of the Peoples Charter in 1836 to the last Chartist Convention in 1858. The manuscript lectures of Thomas Cooper are an essential but little-used source. The article contributes to historical understanding of the intellectual life of the English working class.

Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
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.

Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
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.

Bulletin of the John Rylands Library