Extensively revised and updated, this new edition of The Debate on the English Reformation combines a discussion of successive historical approaches to the English Reformation of the mid-sixteenth-century with a critical review of recent debates in the area, offering a major contribution to modern historiography as well as to Reformation studies.
This book explores the way in which successive generations have found the Reformation relevant to their own times and have in the process rediscovered, redefined and rewritten its story. It shows that not only historians but also politicians, ecclesiastics, journalists and social and religious campaigners argued about interpretations of the Reformation and the motivations of its principal agents: Henry VIII, Thomas Cromwell, Anne Boleyn, Thomas Cranmer and Edward VI. The book also presents: John Foxe, the martyrologist, and his contemporary perspective and the work of William Cobbett, the nineteenth-century inflammatory journalist; the persuasive arguments of early nineteenth-century Roman Catholics working for emancipation and the measured, scholarly approach of twentieth-century historians; the fresh perspectives of young scholars in the twentieth-century and of neo-Catholic historians in the twenty-first century as they ask 'was there a Reformation'? The reader will encounter the surprising ways the debate has fared during state control of the universities and be challenged by a discussion of how the Reformation has been presented in novel, play and film.
The Debate on the English Reformation delivers a significant contribution to modern political, social and religious historiography and Reformation studies. Undergraduates, researchers and lecturers alike will find it essential.
About the Author:
Rosemary O'Day is Emeritus Professor of History at the Open University