Henry VIII and the English Reformation

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Temple Feb 8th
The English Reformation
The essay: You can put together a preliminary bibliography and have a chat with the prof. He says come
see me whenevs. Due date: March 21st Length – 20ish pages (17 or 18)
Wed Feb 29th All who want to go. Going on a tour of the down town churches. How does architecture
affect faith?
Okay back to the English Reformation
Complicated. No unity on what the the english reformation was. Many opinions.
Key historians
Geoffrey Elton- England Under the Tudors 1953
Traditional constitutional view. Reformation is presented as an act of state. Devoid of religious content.
Within this context elton puts the vision that it was Thomas Cromwell who was the architect of the
english reformation. And cromwell's goal was national in goal. It is imposed from above on the english
people. There are difficulties with this. It painted a picture of a very passive english church and people. It
changes as the government changes.
Geoffrey Dickens The English Reformation 1964
Of course the reformation was imposed form above it was everywhere. (German lutheran princes etc)
He set england in the context of Europe. The reality is that the english people must have been involved.
There must have been pressure from below. Henry 8th wanted to stop his reformation but he could not.
Why is that? Why did they go towards calvin after his death? There was some pressure from the english
people. Wycliffe had started a reformation but had gone underground. The english people had just been
waiting for reformation. Problem with this is that it does not sit well with Catholic historians.
Christopher Haigh J.J. Scarisbrick
Argued that the english people did not want the reformation. Argue that the english church is not as
corrupt as other european churches. The church is in better working order. When Luther's ideas come
along there are a small group of people that want reform. The lay people do not want the reformation.
Temple likes Dickens.
Henry VIII
As late of 1529 he show no evidence of supporting Lutheran documents.
Henry was trained as theologian. (never supposed to be king. His brother Arthur was king)
Henry writes the Defence of the Seven Sacraments 1521. He earns the titles 1) From the pope and calls
him Defender of the Faith, 2) from Luther: A Pig in robes. Luther and Henry hate each other.
Cardinal Thomas Wolsey conducts public bonfires to burn Luther's work. He was the pope's legate. Given
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