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Summary: this seminar takes a broad overview of government religious policies after the break with Rome as a means of assessing the significance of the change which had taken place. We will discuss such historiographically contentious issues as whether the break with Rome was more of a jurisdictional matter (an ‘act of state’) than a true religious revolution. We will also attempt to assess Henry’s own motives and priorities as Supreme Head of the Church, as well as the extent to which he himself was driving policy.

Seminar and essay questions:

a) Did Henry’s Royal Supremacy deliver ‘Catholicism without the Pope’?

b) Was the Henrician Reformation ‘the king’s Reformation’?


Survey overviews as per previous seminar.

D. MacCulloch, ‘Henry VIII and the Reform of the Church’, in MacCulloch (ed.), The Reign of Henry VIII: Politics, Policy and Piety (1995)

----------------, Thomas Cranmer (1996), ch 6

S Wabuda, Thomas Cranmer (2017), chs 4-7

F Heal, Reformation in Britain and Ireland (2003), ch. 4 (i-v)

A G Dickens, The English Reformation, 2nd ed, ch 7 (ch 6 in 1964 edn)

G. W. Bernard, ‘The Making of Religious Policy, 1533-1546: Henry VIII and the Search for the Middle Way’, Historical Journal (1998) (b)

---------------, ‘The Piety of Henry VIII’, in NS Amos, A Pettegree and H van Nierop (eds), The Education of a Christian Society (1999)

--------------, The King’s Reformation: Henry VIII and the Remaking of the English Church (2005), ch 6 (b)

-------------, ‘Henry VIII: “Catholicism without the Pope?”’, History (2016) (a)

A Ryrie, ‘The Strange Death of Lutheran England’, Journal of Ecclesiastical History (2002) (a)

---------, ‘Divine Kingship and Royal Theology in Henry VIII’s Reformation’, Reformation, 7 (2002) (b)

---------, The Gospel and Henry VIII (2003), part 1

R Rex, ‘The Crisis of Obedience: God’s Word and Henry’s Reformation’, Historical Journal (1996)

-------, ‘The Religion of Henry VIII’, Historical Journal (2014)

M Dowling, ‘The Gospel and the Court: Reformation under Henry VIII’ in P Lake and M Dowling eds., Protestantism and the National Church (1987)

G Redworth, ‘A Study in the Formulation of Policy: the genesis and evolution of the Act of Six Articles’, Journal of Ecclesiatical History (1986)

S Brigden, ‘Thomas Cromwell and the “Brethren”’, in Claire Cross, David Loades and J. J. Scarisbrick, eds., Law and Government under the Tudors (1998)

W Underwood, ‘Thomas Cromwell and William Marshall’s Protestant Books’, Historical Journal, 47 (2004).

L Wooding, Henry VIII (2009), pp. 82-9

GW Bernard, ‘Elton’s Cromwell’, History, 83 (1998) (b)

T Sowerby, ‘All our books do be sent into other countries and translated’: Henrician Polemic in its International Context’, English Historical Review, 121 (2006).

P. Marshall, Religious Identities in Henry VIII’s England (2006), introduction

------------, ‘The Other Black Legend: The Henrician Reformation and the Spanish People’, English Historical Review, (2001) (a) – on how it looked from abroad

------------, ‘Mumpsimus and Sumpsimus: The Intellectual Origins of a Henrician Bon Mot’, Journal of Ecclesiastical History (2001) (a)

------------, ‘Is the Pope Catholic? Henry VIII and the Semantics of Schism’, in E. Shagan (ed), Catholics and the ‘Protestant Nation’ (2005)

NB. All three of the above articles reprinted in Marshall, Religious Identities in Henry VIII’s England (2006).