Careening toward the Middle Way: The English Reformation
Sources: Carter Lindberg, The European Reformations (Blackwell, 1996); Denis R. Janz, A Reformation Reader: Primary Texts with Introductions (Fortress, 1999); Diarmaid MacCulloch, "The Reformation 1500-1650" in Richard Harries and Henry Mayr-Harting, Christianity: Two Thousand Years (Oxford, 2001).
Reading: 1 Tim. 2:1-10.
England Turns from Catholicism
Was Catholic England a hotbed of anticlericalism (e.g., Lollardy) (A.G. Dickens)?
Was Catholic England content (Eamon Duffy, The Stripping of the Altars)?
English theological leaders were sympathetic with Luther before 1525
William Tyndale's English translation of the Bible in 1525 popularizes Lutheran terms
("congregation" not "church", "repentance" not "penance", "elder" not "priest")
Henry VIII seeks to annul his papally OK'd marriage to Catherine of Aragon, Henry VII's widow
Having failed, Henry VIII finally breaks with the pope 1534, pursues "Anglo-Catholicism":
Six Articles of 1539 affirm transubstantiation, celibacy, monasticism, confession, private masses
Edward VI's regents repeal Six Articles, lift persecution of Protestants, reform liturgy from 1547
As a result Lutherans return and Zwinglians enter England
Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Cranmer reforms liturgy with 1549 and 1552 Prayer Book
"Bloody" Mary Tudor's reign from 1553 returns to Catholicism, allies with Spain, removes clergy, martyrs dissenters, alienates her people
Elizabeth I rules from 1558 as a popular moderate; subjects accept "Elizabethan Settlement"
Radical Catholics, Puritan Presbyterians and Congregationalists remain unhappy
Features of Anglicanism
Anglicanism becomes a Lutheran/Zwinglian/Calvinist/Catholic synthesis (muddle?)
Anglicanism's main feature is Erastianism (after Thomas Erastus): Church is subordinate to state
Anglicanism's proudest accomplishment is its liturgy (Book of Common Prayer)