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2. To what extent did religion in England change during the reign of Henry VIII?
About this Lecture
In this module, we consider the question ‘To what extent did religion in England change significantly during the reign of Henry VIII?’, focusing in particular on: (i) Henry’s personal faith; (ii) the limited changes to liturgy in this period, with the exception of a new litany in 1544; (iii) the limited changes to theology in this period, including Henry’s refusal to embrace the key Evangelical doctrine of justification by faith alone; (iv) Henry’s uncertainty about Purgatory, which is described in the Ten Articles (1536) as “uncertain by scripture”; (v) the political importance of the Act of Supremacy (1534), but its limited practical impact on the experience of ordinary parishioners; (vi) the importance of Thomas Cromwell’s two injunctions (1536 and 1538) in altering the practice and experience of religion across the country; (v) the publication of the Great Bible (1539), the first authorised edition of the Bible in English; and (vi) Henry’s attempt to restrict reading of the Bible with his Act for the Advancement of True Religion (1543) – but his limited success.
In this course, Dr Jonathan Willis (University of Birmingham) explores religion and the church in Tudor England through six key questions: (1) To what extent was criticism of the Late Medieval Catholic Church the main reason for the growth of Protestantism in Tudor England?; (2) To what extent did religion in England change significantly during the reign of Henry VIII?; (3) To what extent did religion in England change significantly during the reign of Henry VIII?; (4) How far was religious change in England during the years 1547-63 driven by the personal religious beliefs of successive monarchs?; (5) What factors facilitated the survival of Catholicism during the reign of Elizabeth I?; and (6) Did the Elizabethan Settlement of 1559 mark the end of the English Reformation?.
Dr Jonathan Willis is a Senior Lecturer in Early Modern History at the University of Birmingham. He is primarily a historian of the English reformation, with interests in the history and theology of late-medieval and early modern Europe more broadly. His research focuses on the religious and cultural history of England over the course of the long sixteenth century. His recent publications include Church Music and Protestantism in Post-Reformation England (Farnham: Ashgate, 2010) and The Reformation of the Decalogue: Religious Belief, Practice and Identity and the Ten Commandments in England, c.1485-c.1625 (CUP, forthcoming 2017)
Cite this Lecture
Willis, J. (2020, May 08). The Tudors – Religion and the Church, 1509-1603 - To what extent did religion in England change during the reign of Henry VIII? [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/the-tudors-religion-and-the-church/to-what-extent-did-religion-in-england-change-during-the-reign-of-henry-viii
Willis, J. "The Tudors – Religion and the Church, 1509-1603 – To what extent did religion in England change during the reign of Henry VIII?." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 08 May 2020, https://www.massolit.io/courses/the-tudors-religion-and-the-church/to-what-extent-did-religion-in-england-change-during-the-reign-of-henry-viii