The English Reformation

The English Reformation PDF/EPUB ä The English

The English Reformation [PDF] ✓ The English Reformation By A.G. Dickens – Polishdarling.co.uk This book presents a new edition of the classic study of the religious changes that transformed England in the sixteenth centuryHenry VIII officially brought the Protestant Reformation to England in t This book presents a new edition of the classic study of the religious changes that transformed England in the sixteenth centuryHenry VIII officially brought the Protestant Reformation to England in the s when The English PDF/EPUB ² he severed the English Church from the Papacy But the seeds of the movement, according to AGDickens, were planted much earlier The English Reformation, first published in , follows the movement from its late medieval origins through the settlement of Elizabeth I inand the rise of Puritanism.


10 thoughts on “The English Reformation

  1. Jan-Maat Jan-Maat says:

    The place of the royal divorce in the history of the Reformation will always remain a subject for argument Protestant writers have tended to dismiss it as a mere occasion rather than a genuine cause Catholics have sometimes regarded the divorce as the chief cause of the cataclysm and supposed that, had it not been pressed, England might well have remained a Catholic nation To the present writer neither of these views seems wholly acceptablep154 I bought A.G Dickens The English ReformaThe place of the royal divorce in the history of the Reformation will always remain a subject for argument Protestant writers have tended to dismiss it as a mere occasion rather than a genuine cause Catholics have sometimes regarded the divorce as the chief cause of the cataclysm and supposed that, had it not been pressed, England might well have remained a Catholic nation To the present writer neither of these views seems wholly acceptablep154 I bought A.G Dickens The English Reformation in the nineteen eighties when I was an A Level student What with suffering from unrequited love and writing essays I never got round to reading it then Perhaps if I had my History grade would have been better and I certainly would have hadto say in Tudor history classes I was intending to move into phase two of my austerity reading project, one marked by deeper, even savage, demands on my bibliophilia, otherwise known as read release The idea was that by alienating my ownership of some books I might possibly reduce the burden on shelf space Alack, having read I find myself perilously close to read retain and no swift resolution to my book hoarding in sight.Dickens starts off with three objectives in his account of the English Reformation the process during which England moved out of Catholicism, towards Protestantism, back to Catholicism, then back again in a Protestantish direction in the sixteenth century Those objectives were i to provide a thorough background on the pre reformation English church ii to describe the development spread of protestantism in England, and iii give a sense of how the Reformation affected ordinary people in EnglandI think that he fails, or to be reasonable, that he couldn t be completely successful in meeting those objectives because of the data available at the time, and one of the great things about this book is how much Dickens looks forward to future historians working through, in particular, diocesan records and exploringof the reactions to the events of the period At the same time I feel that the governments of the period would have had a poor sense of his second and third objectives too and a complete picture may well always allude us.At the same time I feel that those objectives are a great example of the historiography and concerns of the time in which the book was written There was Dickens in the 1960s, this was a great period of university expansion, and with it the stories that got told widened to embrace the kinds of people who were now coming to teach and study As a result our historical memory became broader and richer And while the great and the good were making decisions that determined the lives of everyday men and women, those decisions were also in reaction to the doings of people of low social rank and status.However to start off with some downsides by the last chapter we find that not only is the author an Anglican or Epistowhatemacallits as they are known in the USA and possibly other places too , a believer, and a supporter of a certain kind of belief in religious tolerance I won t say that these ideas are wrong, they seem very nice, but it did strike me as odd to lay stress on the emergence of toleration and on those few who spoke up for toleration when one of the outcomes of the Reformation was a shift in who was included and who excluded from being part of the political nation, for example, down to 1829 Catholics were to be excluded from Public life in England as also were various Protestant groups, no need to worry about the Jews because they were still officially banned from living in England until after the Civil War in the Seventeenth century the roots of toleration may well be in Reformation but that plant took a long time to come to flower And we note that during the Reformation numbers of people were burnt to death, tortured and general persecuted on account of what they believed Toleration doesn t seem quite the right word.At several points Dickens also seemed to have a concept of the ancestors as less advanced , in the sense of being politically immature You might be tempted to agree with that opinion, but it was written in 1964, and depending on your political persuasion there are a range of ways that one could find the general opinions of todayadvanced than fifty odd years ago I m just uncertain that it is useful to measure things with such a wobbly yardstick I suppose I m also slightly suspicious of the use of language like advanced during the time of de colonialism All the same I lean towards read and retain even though this is a fifty year old book that is openly excited about what remains undiscovered in the archives is well aware of the limits of what was known particularly about the reception of the Reformation Partly because I found it thought provoking The brick finally struck my head and I realised how weird Henry VIII s succession crisis in the early 1530s was Why didn t he succeed in marrying off Mary of childbearing age by the time Henry reached his midlife succession crisis, or for that matter later betrothing Elizabeth a teenager and so marriagable by Tudor standards by her father s death Does the fact that he didn t give us a useful insight into Henry s mind A succession crisis born of his political failure and narcissism Henry VIII emerges from Dickens pages in an interesting manner for all that he veered back towards Catholicism, particularly in his later years, all of his son s teachers were men known to be of Protestant inclinations There s something curious in the captain of the ship insuring that his successor would swing the wheel and sharply change course.Again I liked Dickens generosity, the strong sense of contingency view spoiler Henry s desire for a divorce, the early death of Edward VI, the childless death of Mary, the childless death of Elizabeth, the failure to put poor Lady Jane Grey on the throne Any change there would have resulted in a different kind of reformation, even maybe civil war as in France during the same period hide spoiler , and his consistent imaginative interest in what happened for example seeing Mary s reign as a failure to institute a counter reformation with her Cardinal, Reginald Pole, twice not responding to Ignatius of Loyola s offer to deploy Jesuits in England For readers of Wolf Hall Thomas Cromwell is held up as the superstar statesman of Tudor, if not actually of Early Modern, England, perhaps here an inspiration for Hilary Mantel Of particular interest was the hollowed out clergy The senior clerics holding office in part as a result of government service, the junior clerics frequently under educated, changing forms of religious expression with chantries still lively and popular while monasteries seem to have been in a long decline The enigmatic flashes of continuity in religious expression, from Lollards to Quakers suggesting an ongoing need for personal, non conformist, expressions of faith particularly in the towns where trades were well established view spoiler must note if only not to forget that the original 42 articles of Edward VI largely carried over in to the 39 articles of faith of Elizabeth I were largely targeted against Anabaptist beliefs rather than potential backsliding so to speak into Catholicism, which is interesting as a reflection of the concerns of political leadership in the 1550s and 60s hide spoiler , the importance of women active both among keen Protestants and keen Catholics, and perhaps most of all the stunned broad middle of the population, neither particularly Catholic nor Protestant but stumbling from one abrupt change from above to another


  2. Richard Richard says:

    This book is often cited in the bibliographies of books on church history, so I was excited to find a copy, especially since I m interested in the Tudor era as well To my chagrin, I found it to be a rather laborious read However, the benefits of the book outweigh the disadvantages This is a scholarly, well researched and nuanced work on the Reformation in England.It shows us that this movement cannot be simplified as easily as popular portrayals would have it It was not merely the brainchild This book is often cited in the bibliographies of books on church history, so I was excited to find a copy, especially since I m interested in the Tudor era as well To my chagrin, I found it to be a rather laborious read However, the benefits of the book outweigh the disadvantages This is a scholarly, well researched and nuanced work on the Reformation in England.It shows us that this movement cannot be simplified as easily as popular portrayals would have it It was not merely the brainchild of a sexually frustrated tyrant Nor was it a contest between Protestant good guys and Catholic bad guys There were many religious, social and economic factors, some of them deeply rooted in England s past, which influenced the Reformation s emergence and affected the way it has played out over time down to the present by which the author means the 1960s This book corrects some commonly held misconceptions about people and phenomena notable among these for me were Thomas Cromwell, the dissolution of the monasteries and Puritanism


  3. Lawrence Lawrence says:

    I think that Prof Dickens, with his overarching view of trends, themes, events, and their unpredictability, would be very amused as a historian to see how The West has developed after his remarks at the close of the 1964 edition of this book I d like to see the later edition s if only to read these reactions The 64 edition happens to be the one on my shelf Anyway, this is an excellent overview of the Reformation in England, one of the most exciting and far reaching of historical developme I think that Prof Dickens, with his overarching view of trends, themes, events, and their unpredictability, would be very amused as a historian to see how The West has developed after his remarks at the close of the 1964 edition of this book I d like to see the later edition s if only to read these reactions The 64 edition happens to be the one on my shelf Anyway, this is an excellent overview of the Reformation in England, one of the most exciting and far reaching of historical developments It references not only church history and the Big Names, but also the attraction of Reformation ideas to the regular person It discusses the social and economic history and integrates it with or distinguishes it from history of religion In particular, the narration of the dissolution of the monasteries is well done without any nostalgia for a likely non existent past and with due regard to where the money went and how the release of formerly monastic lands led to lasting social change His section on English exiles during the reign of Mary was very illuminating.There are two last things to note Mr Dickens is a formal writer, but a superb writer He is always elegant and understandable His prose has a kind of modest periodicity Next, his understanding of the humanity of the ideas and the people he is writing about is a pleasure This book is a keeper


  4. Aaron Aaron says:

    A book written by a specialist for those already familiar with the basic issues and scholarly debates surrounding the English Reformation This is not an introductory text, and should be read after a familiarity has been obtained through other reading A recurring emphasis of Dickens is that these historical matters are allcomplex than many have said, and he will spend much time explicating this point and interacting with other scholar s works The book itself is poorly bound and typeset, A book written by a specialist for those already familiar with the basic issues and scholarly debates surrounding the English Reformation This is not an introductory text, and should be read after a familiarity has been obtained through other reading A recurring emphasis of Dickens is that these historical matters are allcomplex than many have said, and he will spend much time explicating this point and interacting with other scholar s works The book itself is poorly bound and typeset, making a somewhat dry work even harder to appreciate


  5. Mindy aka serenity Mindy aka serenity says:

    How does one write a review of a book so sweeping and dense, covering all of the intricacies of Protestantism s rise in England from medieval times through Elizabeth I s reign This book, hailed as the definitive volume on this subject because of its heavy use of primary sources, walks the reader through this momentous event in history, changing forever the way we act towards religion, its place in our lives, and its connection to government Dickens makes the argument that the Reformation didn How does one write a review of a book so sweeping and dense, covering all of the intricacies of Protestantism s rise in England from medieval times through Elizabeth I s reign This book, hailed as the definitive volume on this subject because of its heavy use of primary sources, walks the reader through this momentous event in history, changing forever the way we act towards religion, its place in our lives, and its connection to government Dickens makes the argument that the Reformation didn t begin during Henry VIII s quest for a divorce, but much earlier with the teachings of Wycliffe in the 14th century Dickens cites Lollardry as a way paver for later Lutheranism because of its similarity in core values In fact, Lollards are credited in this book with anticipating all key Lutheran doctrines except for the Justification by Faith Alone Wycliffe s influence was felt not just in England but also on the continent, particularly in Germany and Switzerland It is no great coincidence that these two areas brought about the next wave of reformist thinking Lutheranism and Zwinglismthan a century later The Reformation, in essence, is a call to give people a direct connection to their own religion, without the cloud of mysticism that Catholicism used to claim elite status on the teachings of God It also called for structural change in the church, one that didn t charge you for grace to line the pockets of the greedy clergy To aid this cause, New Bible translations and prayer books were written in the 16th century common tongue and distributed among all classes in order to create a simpler andheartfelt religion.The heart of the Reformation s rise is during the reign of Henry VIII Henry was willing to overthrow the national religion if it would only give him his divorce Wolsey aimed to assist but was not up to the task of the great matter, which left him open to harsh criticism and downfall To the early Protestants, Wolsey was the personification of all that was wrong with the church he lived opulently at the expense of others and was accused of performing his dutiesout of personal ambition than any true religious calling or loyalty This left room for a new point of view promoted by Cromwell, Cranmer, and others, mostly with Lutheran leanings due to itshumanistic approach to faith.This period was full of conflict between church and state and how they should be connected The church went from being controlled by Rome, to under the king as Supreme Head of all Henry , to a tenuous reconciliation with Rome Mary , to a compromise in which the monarch became Supreme Governor Elizabeth , changing the position from a theological one to apolitical one These constant changes until Elizabeth s reign made the climate very tense and inconsistent, with the definitions of heresy and national religion changing every few years.Once Cromwell had control over a state run Protestant national religion, it was time to reform The monasteries were dissolved and all assets collected by the crown Cromwell aimed to secure the monarchy financially into the future, but Henry s penchant for war soon made that a fantasy As such, Henry s children went deeper into this technique, with guilds and chantries becoming the next targets during Edward s reign This did not place the reform movement in a very good light leading up to Mary s Catholic ascendency Even though Mary killed nearly 500 Protestants for their faith alone which was not seen favorably by the English, the movement didn t fizzle Many met secretly or corresponded with those who had voluntarily gone into exile This act of congregating in fact strengthened the religion and promoted congregation, creating early structure for the Act of Uniformity under Elizabeth s reign She standardized church practice across the country and ceased the widespread persecution of people with different religious ideas, while creating a civil balance between rival faiths for a time Dickens makes a special note that in his research he found that former exiles did not have the influence over Elizabeth s church as they were once thought to have.In conclusion, Dickens mentions that Protestantism is largely based on individual conscience, promoting a liberal and tolerant approach to faith He states we should not view the English Reformation as a movement but a process, one that continues It has cross currents with matters of foreign influence and the secularization of ideas regarding culture, but came to define the English identity fundamentally Dickens voices his hopes that this process will become even less vainglorious andgenuine in the future, possibly unraveling inconsistencies that still remain in the Anglican Church Because at its heart, the Reformation is about obtaining the right to be closer to God without mysticism and obscurity getting in the way


  6. AskHistorians AskHistorians says:

    This is one of the first and best works on the idea of the Reformation from Below, the idea that Protestantism was a popular grassroots movement vs a decaying, corrupt Catholic church Subsequently heavily attacked by revisionists, it s still a vital book if only to understand the books that revised him.


  7. Luke Luke says:

    Excellent overview of the English Reformation, although not exactly for beginners but that is not who it is aimed at specifically It is insightful and well sourced, and certainly the prose whilst dry, is understandable and to the point I haven t any real complaint to make Good.


  8. Sara Sara says:

    I m intending to writelater, but for now, I was thrilled to discover this book I read it after finishing C F Sansom s series of Shardlake novels set in Tudor England, running through the reign of the boy king Edward VI and Protector Somerset It added quite a lot to my appreciation of Sansom.Dickens examines the evidence for the 19th century romantic view of Catholicism in England and finds it wanting He probably givesexamples than most people want to read but I found some of the I m intending to writelater, but for now, I was thrilled to discover this book I read it after finishing C F Sansom s series of Shardlake novels set in Tudor England, running through the reign of the boy king Edward VI and Protector Somerset It added quite a lot to my appreciation of Sansom.Dickens examines the evidence for the 19th century romantic view of Catholicism in England and finds it wanting He probably givesexamples than most people want to read but I found some of them fascinating, and really appreciated the debunking of the view that the majority of Englishmen wanted a return to the Catholicism of the scholastics That Catholicism had most definitely fallen into decline Dickens gives chapter and verse.At the same time, he s even handed when discussing Protestants, fully realizing the power that the discovery of the Bible in English had for even the illiterate working class who often memorized great sections of it from simply hearing it read aloud by their literate friends But many, perhaps the majority, were lukewarm worshippers Protestant as well as Catholic I give 4 stars because at times his fine distinctions are a struggle to comprehend But for the most part he writes with clarity and directness This is the second edition of this truly ground breaking history Christopher Haigh, who disagrees with Dickens on several points, nonetheless recommends it highly That s a good sign


  9. Joel Zartman Joel Zartman says:

    The English Reformation is, alas, important The English pick through their moldering parish records, scraps of paper and nearly but not, again alas, entirely illegible letters, the tomes, edicts, acts and lists of yore endlessly fascinated with debating what it was their inconsequential ancestors got up to on that soggy island Unfortunately, it matters, so we study English history Dickens has abundant detail.


  10. Jack Webb Jack Webb says:

    What a long night we silly souls endure, that lie sleepless, restless, burning and broiling in the dark fire one long night of many days, of many weeks, and some of many years together students might be the be only ones left reading.Which is a shame.Garners one or two stars just for resembling a spell book.


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10 thoughts on “The English Reformation

  1. Jan-Maat Jan-Maat says:

    The place of the royal divorce in the history of the Reformation will always remain a subject for argument Protestant writers have tended to dismiss it as a mere occasion rather than a genuine cause Catholics have sometimes regarded the divorce as the chief cause of the cataclysm and supposed that, had it not been pressed, England might well have remained a Catholic nation To the present writer neither of these views seems wholly acceptablep154 I bought A.G Dickens The English ReformaThe place of the royal divorce in the history of the Reformation will always remain a subject for argument Protestant writers have tended to dismiss it as a mere occasion rather than a genuine cause Catholics have sometimes regarded the divorce as the chief cause of the cataclysm and supposed that, had it not been pressed, England might well have remained a Catholic nation To the present writer neither of these views seems wholly acceptablep154 I bought A.G Dickens The English Reformation in the nineteen eighties when I was an A Level student What with suffering from unrequited love and writing essays I never got round to reading it then Perhaps if I had my History grade would have been better and I certainly would have hadto say in Tudor history classes I was intending to move into phase two of my austerity reading project, one marked by deeper, even savage, demands on my bibliophilia, otherwise known as read release The idea was that by alienating my ownership of some books I might possibly reduce the burden on shelf space Alack, having read I find myself perilously close to read retain and no swift resolution to my book hoarding in sight.Dickens starts off with three objectives in his account of the English Reformation the process during which England moved out of Catholicism, towards Protestantism, back to Catholicism, then back again in a Protestantish direction in the sixteenth century Those objectives were i to provide a thorough background on the pre reformation English church ii to describe the development spread of protestantism in England, and iii give a sense of how the Reformation affected ordinary people in EnglandI think that he fails, or to be reasonable, that he couldn t be completely successful in meeting those objectives because of the data available at the time, and one of the great things about this book is how much Dickens looks forward to future historians working through, in particular, diocesan records and exploringof the reactions to the events of the period At the same time I feel that the governments of the period would have had a poor sense of his second and third objectives too and a complete picture may well always allude us.At the same time I feel that those objectives are a great example of the historiography and concerns of the time in which the book was written There was Dickens in the 1960s, this was a great period of university expansion, and with it the stories that got told widened to embrace the kinds of people who were now coming to teach and study As a result our historical memory became broader and richer And while the great and the good were making decisions that determined the lives of everyday men and women, those decisions were also in reaction to the doings of people of low social rank and status.However to start off with some downsides by the last chapter we find that not only is the author an Anglican or Epistowhatemacallits as they are known in the USA and possibly other places too , a believer, and a supporter of a certain kind of belief in religious tolerance I won t say that these ideas are wrong, they seem very nice, but it did strike me as odd to lay stress on the emergence of toleration and on those few who spoke up for toleration when one of the outcomes of the Reformation was a shift in who was included and who excluded from being part of the political nation, for example, down to 1829 Catholics were to be excluded from Public life in England as also were various Protestant groups, no need to worry about the Jews because they were still officially banned from living in England until after the Civil War in the Seventeenth century the roots of toleration may well be in Reformation but that plant took a long time to come to flower And we note that during the Reformation numbers of people were burnt to death, tortured and general persecuted on account of what they believed Toleration doesn t seem quite the right word.At several points Dickens also seemed to have a concept of the ancestors as less advanced , in the sense of being politically immature You might be tempted to agree with that opinion, but it was written in 1964, and depending on your political persuasion there are a range of ways that one could find the general opinions of todayadvanced than fifty odd years ago I m just uncertain that it is useful to measure things with such a wobbly yardstick I suppose I m also slightly suspicious of the use of language like advanced during the time of de colonialism All the same I lean towards read and retain even though this is a fifty year old book that is openly excited about what remains undiscovered in the archives is well aware of the limits of what was known particularly about the reception of the Reformation Partly because I found it thought provoking The brick finally struck my head and I realised how weird Henry VIII s succession crisis in the early 1530s was Why didn t he succeed in marrying off Mary of childbearing age by the time Henry reached his midlife succession crisis, or for that matter later betrothing Elizabeth a teenager and so marriagable by Tudor standards by her father s death Does the fact that he didn t give us a useful insight into Henry s mind A succession crisis born of his political failure and narcissism Henry VIII emerges from Dickens pages in an interesting manner for all that he veered back towards Catholicism, particularly in his later years, all of his son s teachers were men known to be of Protestant inclinations There s something curious in the captain of the ship insuring that his successor would swing the wheel and sharply change course.Again I liked Dickens generosity, the strong sense of contingency view spoiler Henry s desire for a divorce, the early death of Edward VI, the childless death of Mary, the childless death of Elizabeth, the failure to put poor Lady Jane Grey on the throne Any change there would have resulted in a different kind of reformation, even maybe civil war as in France during the same period hide spoiler , and his consistent imaginative interest in what happened for example seeing Mary s reign as a failure to institute a counter reformation with her Cardinal, Reginald Pole, twice not responding to Ignatius of Loyola s offer to deploy Jesuits in England For readers of Wolf Hall Thomas Cromwell is held up as the superstar statesman of Tudor, if not actually of Early Modern, England, perhaps here an inspiration for Hilary Mantel Of particular interest was the hollowed out clergy The senior clerics holding office in part as a result of government service, the junior clerics frequently under educated, changing forms of religious expression with chantries still lively and popular while monasteries seem to have been in a long decline The enigmatic flashes of continuity in religious expression, from Lollards to Quakers suggesting an ongoing need for personal, non conformist, expressions of faith particularly in the towns where trades were well established view spoiler must note if only not to forget that the original 42 articles of Edward VI largely carried over in to the 39 articles of faith of Elizabeth I were largely targeted against Anabaptist beliefs rather than potential backsliding so to speak into Catholicism, which is interesting as a reflection of the concerns of political leadership in the 1550s and 60s hide spoiler , the importance of women active both among keen Protestants and keen Catholics, and perhaps most of all the stunned broad middle of the population, neither particularly Catholic nor Protestant but stumbling from one abrupt change from above to another


  2. Richard Richard says:

    This book is often cited in the bibliographies of books on church history, so I was excited to find a copy, especially since I m interested in the Tudor era as well To my chagrin, I found it to be a rather laborious read However, the benefits of the book outweigh the disadvantages This is a scholarly, well researched and nuanced work on the Reformation in England.It shows us that this movement cannot be simplified as easily as popular portrayals would have it It was not merely the brainchild This book is often cited in the bibliographies of books on church history, so I was excited to find a copy, especially since I m interested in the Tudor era as well To my chagrin, I found it to be a rather laborious read However, the benefits of the book outweigh the disadvantages This is a scholarly, well researched and nuanced work on the Reformation in England.It shows us that this movement cannot be simplified as easily as popular portrayals would have it It was not merely the brainchild of a sexually frustrated tyrant Nor was it a contest between Protestant good guys and Catholic bad guys There were many religious, social and economic factors, some of them deeply rooted in England s past, which influenced the Reformation s emergence and affected the way it has played out over time down to the present by which the author means the 1960s This book corrects some commonly held misconceptions about people and phenomena notable among these for me were Thomas Cromwell, the dissolution of the monasteries and Puritanism


  3. Lawrence Lawrence says:

    I think that Prof Dickens, with his overarching view of trends, themes, events, and their unpredictability, would be very amused as a historian to see how The West has developed after his remarks at the close of the 1964 edition of this book I d like to see the later edition s if only to read these reactions The 64 edition happens to be the one on my shelf Anyway, this is an excellent overview of the Reformation in England, one of the most exciting and far reaching of historical developme I think that Prof Dickens, with his overarching view of trends, themes, events, and their unpredictability, would be very amused as a historian to see how The West has developed after his remarks at the close of the 1964 edition of this book I d like to see the later edition s if only to read these reactions The 64 edition happens to be the one on my shelf Anyway, this is an excellent overview of the Reformation in England, one of the most exciting and far reaching of historical developments It references not only church history and the Big Names, but also the attraction of Reformation ideas to the regular person It discusses the social and economic history and integrates it with or distinguishes it from history of religion In particular, the narration of the dissolution of the monasteries is well done without any nostalgia for a likely non existent past and with due regard to where the money went and how the release of formerly monastic lands led to lasting social change His section on English exiles during the reign of Mary was very illuminating.There are two last things to note Mr Dickens is a formal writer, but a superb writer He is always elegant and understandable His prose has a kind of modest periodicity Next, his understanding of the humanity of the ideas and the people he is writing about is a pleasure This book is a keeper


  4. Aaron Aaron says:

    A book written by a specialist for those already familiar with the basic issues and scholarly debates surrounding the English Reformation This is not an introductory text, and should be read after a familiarity has been obtained through other reading A recurring emphasis of Dickens is that these historical matters are allcomplex than many have said, and he will spend much time explicating this point and interacting with other scholar s works The book itself is poorly bound and typeset, A book written by a specialist for those already familiar with the basic issues and scholarly debates surrounding the English Reformation This is not an introductory text, and should be read after a familiarity has been obtained through other reading A recurring emphasis of Dickens is that these historical matters are allcomplex than many have said, and he will spend much time explicating this point and interacting with other scholar s works The book itself is poorly bound and typeset, making a somewhat dry work even harder to appreciate


  5. Mindy aka serenity Mindy aka serenity says:

    How does one write a review of a book so sweeping and dense, covering all of the intricacies of Protestantism s rise in England from medieval times through Elizabeth I s reign This book, hailed as the definitive volume on this subject because of its heavy use of primary sources, walks the reader through this momentous event in history, changing forever the way we act towards religion, its place in our lives, and its connection to government Dickens makes the argument that the Reformation didn How does one write a review of a book so sweeping and dense, covering all of the intricacies of Protestantism s rise in England from medieval times through Elizabeth I s reign This book, hailed as the definitive volume on this subject because of its heavy use of primary sources, walks the reader through this momentous event in history, changing forever the way we act towards religion, its place in our lives, and its connection to government Dickens makes the argument that the Reformation didn t begin during Henry VIII s quest for a divorce, but much earlier with the teachings of Wycliffe in the 14th century Dickens cites Lollardry as a way paver for later Lutheranism because of its similarity in core values In fact, Lollards are credited in this book with anticipating all key Lutheran doctrines except for the Justification by Faith Alone Wycliffe s influence was felt not just in England but also on the continent, particularly in Germany and Switzerland It is no great coincidence that these two areas brought about the next wave of reformist thinking Lutheranism and Zwinglismthan a century later The Reformation, in essence, is a call to give people a direct connection to their own religion, without the cloud of mysticism that Catholicism used to claim elite status on the teachings of God It also called for structural change in the church, one that didn t charge you for grace to line the pockets of the greedy clergy To aid this cause, New Bible translations and prayer books were written in the 16th century common tongue and distributed among all classes in order to create a simpler andheartfelt religion.The heart of the Reformation s rise is during the reign of Henry VIII Henry was willing to overthrow the national religion if it would only give him his divorce Wolsey aimed to assist but was not up to the task of the great matter, which left him open to harsh criticism and downfall To the early Protestants, Wolsey was the personification of all that was wrong with the church he lived opulently at the expense of others and was accused of performing his dutiesout of personal ambition than any true religious calling or loyalty This left room for a new point of view promoted by Cromwell, Cranmer, and others, mostly with Lutheran leanings due to itshumanistic approach to faith.This period was full of conflict between church and state and how they should be connected The church went from being controlled by Rome, to under the king as Supreme Head of all Henry , to a tenuous reconciliation with Rome Mary , to a compromise in which the monarch became Supreme Governor Elizabeth , changing the position from a theological one to apolitical one These constant changes until Elizabeth s reign made the climate very tense and inconsistent, with the definitions of heresy and national religion changing every few years.Once Cromwell had control over a state run Protestant national religion, it was time to reform The monasteries were dissolved and all assets collected by the crown Cromwell aimed to secure the monarchy financially into the future, but Henry s penchant for war soon made that a fantasy As such, Henry s children went deeper into this technique, with guilds and chantries becoming the next targets during Edward s reign This did not place the reform movement in a very good light leading up to Mary s Catholic ascendency Even though Mary killed nearly 500 Protestants for their faith alone which was not seen favorably by the English, the movement didn t fizzle Many met secretly or corresponded with those who had voluntarily gone into exile This act of congregating in fact strengthened the religion and promoted congregation, creating early structure for the Act of Uniformity under Elizabeth s reign She standardized church practice across the country and ceased the widespread persecution of people with different religious ideas, while creating a civil balance between rival faiths for a time Dickens makes a special note that in his research he found that former exiles did not have the influence over Elizabeth s church as they were once thought to have.In conclusion, Dickens mentions that Protestantism is largely based on individual conscience, promoting a liberal and tolerant approach to faith He states we should not view the English Reformation as a movement but a process, one that continues It has cross currents with matters of foreign influence and the secularization of ideas regarding culture, but came to define the English identity fundamentally Dickens voices his hopes that this process will become even less vainglorious andgenuine in the future, possibly unraveling inconsistencies that still remain in the Anglican Church Because at its heart, the Reformation is about obtaining the right to be closer to God without mysticism and obscurity getting in the way


  6. AskHistorians AskHistorians says:

    This is one of the first and best works on the idea of the Reformation from Below, the idea that Protestantism was a popular grassroots movement vs a decaying, corrupt Catholic church Subsequently heavily attacked by revisionists, it s still a vital book if only to understand the books that revised him.


  7. Luke Luke says:

    Excellent overview of the English Reformation, although not exactly for beginners but that is not who it is aimed at specifically It is insightful and well sourced, and certainly the prose whilst dry, is understandable and to the point I haven t any real complaint to make Good.


  8. Sara Sara says:

    I m intending to writelater, but for now, I was thrilled to discover this book I read it after finishing C F Sansom s series of Shardlake novels set in Tudor England, running through the reign of the boy king Edward VI and Protector Somerset It added quite a lot to my appreciation of Sansom.Dickens examines the evidence for the 19th century romantic view of Catholicism in England and finds it wanting He probably givesexamples than most people want to read but I found some of the I m intending to writelater, but for now, I was thrilled to discover this book I read it after finishing C F Sansom s series of Shardlake novels set in Tudor England, running through the reign of the boy king Edward VI and Protector Somerset It added quite a lot to my appreciation of Sansom.Dickens examines the evidence for the 19th century romantic view of Catholicism in England and finds it wanting He probably givesexamples than most people want to read but I found some of them fascinating, and really appreciated the debunking of the view that the majority of Englishmen wanted a return to the Catholicism of the scholastics That Catholicism had most definitely fallen into decline Dickens gives chapter and verse.At the same time, he s even handed when discussing Protestants, fully realizing the power that the discovery of the Bible in English had for even the illiterate working class who often memorized great sections of it from simply hearing it read aloud by their literate friends But many, perhaps the majority, were lukewarm worshippers Protestant as well as Catholic I give 4 stars because at times his fine distinctions are a struggle to comprehend But for the most part he writes with clarity and directness This is the second edition of this truly ground breaking history Christopher Haigh, who disagrees with Dickens on several points, nonetheless recommends it highly That s a good sign


  9. Joel Zartman Joel Zartman says:

    The English Reformation is, alas, important The English pick through their moldering parish records, scraps of paper and nearly but not, again alas, entirely illegible letters, the tomes, edicts, acts and lists of yore endlessly fascinated with debating what it was their inconsequential ancestors got up to on that soggy island Unfortunately, it matters, so we study English history Dickens has abundant detail.


  10. Jack Webb Jack Webb says:

    What a long night we silly souls endure, that lie sleepless, restless, burning and broiling in the dark fire one long night of many days, of many weeks, and some of many years together students might be the be only ones left reading.Which is a shame.Garners one or two stars just for resembling a spell book.


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