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The Impact in Parishes, 1520-53

For discussion:

1. Assess the impact of government policy on religious life in the parishes in the period 1530-1553.

2. ‘Iconoclasm was the central sacrament of the Reformation’ (Duffy). Why?

 

Readings:

R Rex, Henry VIII and the English Reformation (1993; 2006) - ch 3 has good analysis of the impact of Henrician policies on ‘popular religion’.

J J Scarisbrick, The Reformation and the English People (1984) - chs 4-5 give poignant account of the ‘destruction and plunder of beautiful, sacred and irreplaceable things.’

E Duffy, The Stripping of the Altars (1992) - chs 11-14 flesh out Scarisbrick thesis, and similarly has to account for lay acquiescence.

------, The Voices of Morebath (2002) – chs 4-6 – how one community coped.

E Shagan, Popular Politics and the English Reformation (2003) – important ‘post-revisionist’ study, arguing for widespread ‘collaboration’ with government policies.

C Haigh, English Reformations (1993) - chs 7, 9, 10 - sees Henrician changes as rather less drastic.

R Hutton, ‘The Local Impact of the Tudor Reformations’ in C Haigh ed. The English Reformation Revised (1987) and in P. Marshall (ed), The Impact of the English Reformation 1500-1640 (1997) - important article based on extensive study of churchwardens’ accounts; now elaborated in ch 3 of Hutton’s Rise and Fall of Merry England (1994).

R Whiting, ‘“Abominable Idols”: Images and Image-breaking under Henry VIII’, Journal of Ecclesiastical History, (1982) - describes collapse of a thriving image-cult in the South-West of England; important.

-----------, ‘Prayers for the Dead in the Tudor South-West’, Southern History (1983) and in P. Marshall (ed), The Impact of the English Reformation 1500-1640 (1997) - traces same pattern in intercessions (though compare different analysis of will evidence in ch 15 of Duffy’s Stripping of the Altars).

Whiting’s Blind Devotion of the People: Popular Religion and the English Reformation (1989) applies the thesis more generally to the south-west of England - thought-provoking but over-schematic.

------------, ‘Local Responses to the Henrician Reformation’, in D MacCulloch (ed), The Reign of Henry VIII (1995) - thematically arranged national survey, case elaborated in Local Responses to the English Reformation (1998) – interesting, but flawed.

------------,The Reformation of the English Parish Church (2010) – surveys the material evidence.

C. Litzenberger, ‘Local responses to changes in religious policy based on evidence from Gloucestershire wills (1540-1580), Continuity and Change (1993) - sophisticated analysis of testamentary evidence - compare with Duffy and Whiting. Case elaborated in her The English Reformation and the Laity: Gloucestershire 1540-1580 (1997)

D. MacCulloch, ‘Worcester: a Cathedral City in the Reformation’, in P. Collinson and J. Craig (eds), The Reformation in English Towns 1500-1640 (1998) – good insight into the impact on one community.

A.G. Dickens (ed.), ‘Robert Parkyn’s Narrative of the Reformation’, in idem, Reformation Studies (1982) – fascinating contemporary account of how one priest experienced the Reformation.

M Aston, England’s Iconoclasts (1988) - detailed and sensitive treatment of the important issue of image-worship/idolatry, see especially chs 6-7.

-----------, ‘Iconoclasm in England :official and clandestine’, ch 9 of her Faith and Fire: Popular and Unpopular Religion 1350-1600 (1993) and in P. Marshall (ed), The Impact of the English Reformation 1500-1640 (1997) - good summary of some of the themes of the monograph.