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Summary: With this seminar, we move into the world of the Reformation itself, examining the impact on English religious life of the movement started by Martin Luther and other European reformers. We will discuss the likely motivations of converts to the new ideas, and also how vibrant and dangerous (to the church authorities) the movement was up to the early 1530s.

Seminar and essay questions:

a) Who was drawn to the new evangelical faith before the break with Rome, and why?

b) How dangerous to the Church’s authority was Tyndale’s English New Testament?


P Marshall, Heretics and Believers: A History of the English Reformation (2017), ch 5

R Rex, Henry VIII and the English Reformation, ch 5, first pt - useful short survey [new edition 2005]

-------, ‘The English Campaign against Luther in the 1520s’, Trans of the Royal Historical Association (1989)

-------, ‘The early impact of Reformation theology at Cambridge University, 1521-1547’, Reformation and Renaissance Review (1999)

S Brigden, London and the Reformation (1989), ch 2

-----------, ‘Youth and the English Reformation’, in Past and Present (1984), and in Marshall, ed., The Impact of the English Reformation 1500-1640

P Marshall, Reformation England 1480-1642 (2003), pp. 26-35

-----------, Religious Identities in Henry VIII’s England (2006), part 1

----- and A Ryrie (eds), The Beginnings of English Protestantism (2002), intro, chs 1-3

C Haigh, English Reformations, ch 3

AG Dickens, The English Reformation (2nd ed) ch 5

--------------, ‘Heresy and the Origins of English Protestantism’ in Dickens, Reformation Studies

P Gwyn, The King’s Cardinal: the Rise and Fall of Thomas Wolsey, pp. 480 ff

D Daniel, William Tyndale: A Biography (1994) (b)

Jamie H. Ferguson, ‘Faith in the Language: Biblical Authority and the Meaning of English in More-Tyndale Polemics’, Sixteenth Century Journal, 43 (2012), 989-1011 (b)

C D’Alton, ‘The Suppression of Lutheran Heretics in England, 1526-1529’, Journal of Ecclesiastical History, 54 (2003)

-----------, Charity or Fire: The Argument of Thomas More’s 1529 Dyaloge’, Sixteenth Century Journal, 33 (2002), 51-70

J. Davis, ‘The Christian Brethren and the Dissemination of Heretical Books’, in R. N. Swanson (ed), The Church and the Book (2004)

Stephen W. Haas, ‘Simon Fish, William Tyndale, and Sir Thomas More’s “Lutheran Conspiracy”’, Journal of Ecclesiastical History, 22 (1972), 125-36

Eamon Duffy, ‘Thomas More’s Confutation: A Literary Failure?’, in Peter Clarke and Charlotte Methuen, eds, The Church and Literature, Studies in Church History, 48 (Woodbridge, 2012)

George Logan (ed), The Cambridge Companion to Thomas More (2011), chs by Rex, Duffy

WA Clebsch, England’s Earliest Protestants 1520-1535 (1964)

A lecture of mine on roots of early evangelical conversions: