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The Beginnings of English Protestantism Hardcover – June 17, 2002

ISBN-13: 978-0521802741 ISBN-10: 0521802741

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (June 17, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521802741
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521802741
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,756,931 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"This collection appeals not only to the Tudor specialist, but also to readers of social and religious history. But the greatest recommendation for The Beginnings of English Protestantism is that it serves as a vital counterpoint to the recent trends of revisionist history, illustrating the strength and depth of early English evangelism alongside the celebrated continuance of traditional religion." Janice Liedl, Laurentian University, Canadian Journal of History

"This is a superb collection of essays, opening up a number of new avenues for exploring the spiritual foundations of the English Reformation." Norman Jones, Utah State University, Anglican and Episcopal History

"...serious students of the sixteenth century will deepen their understanding of the early English Reformation by careful study of one or more of these essays." Albion

"A valuable and highly recommended addition to the literature on Germany's role in the outbreak of World War I." H-GERMAN

"Throws needed light on the crucial period of early Reformation history." H-NET

"[A] valuable study." Bibliotheque d'Humanisme & Renaissance

"...a stimulating and valuable resource for advanced students and scholars of the English reformations." History

Book Description

This collection of essays examines the traumatic religious upheavals of early- and mid-sixteenth century England from the point of view of the early Protestants, a group which has been seriously neglected by recent scholarship. Here, leading British and American scholars re-examine early Protestantism, arguing that it was a complex movement which could have gone in a number of directions. They also examine its approach to issues of gender roles, the place of printing and print culture, and the ways in which Protestantism continued to be influenced by medieval religious culture.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By David J Davis on May 27, 2007
Format: Paperback
While by no means earth shaking, this volume has several points of merit. It highlights often overlooked aspects of the rather confusing early decades of the English reforms. Also rather than dividing groups into Protestant and Catholic, the authors do a good job sifting through the nuances of belief and practice within the two grand religious labels of the period.

However, though the scholars involved are among the most prominent in early modern English history, several of the essays in the volume tend to limit their analysis for a more generalised overview of the topic. Though this may appeal to undergraduate audience or a more popular readership, this volume of does not always deliver as much as it could have. Strangely, two of the weaker essays are from two of the most experienced scholars: John King and Andrew Pettegree. Unfortunately, both the essays cover the print culture of the period, leaving a lackluster overview of the subject in this volume. However, the introduction, as well as the articles by Alec Ryrie and Patrick Collinson, more than make up for this soft spot.

At first sight this volume looks to be a possible blockbuster featuring scholars who have all contributed excellent articles and monographs to the study of the Reformation. But it is more an informed and educational glance at the period than a focused examination.
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7 of 14 people found the following review helpful By thisisgibbie on July 5, 2004
Format: Paperback
After purchasing this book with the interest in englightenment and knowledge about developments in the early English Protestant Reformation, I found this collection a muddy disappointment.
The clearest writing was the Introduction by the editors, who clarified the current atmosphere in the British academy on this subject. Since the 1970s, there has been a Roman Catholic revisionism of English religious history, lead by historians Christopher Haigh, J. I. Scarisbrick and Eamon Duffy, which have colored history that the English were forced into Protestantism. One that aspires to replace the Whig Protestant grand narrative, which is the narrative that would have been well known in most Anglo-Protestant homes worldwide through the Victorian era. Also, there is professor Diarmaid MacCulloch, who has written on this era and holds that "Anglicanism" was essentially created during the rule of the Stuarts. None of the aformentioned contributed here.
To save you time, much of the writings tend to be cryptic positionings of history without really getting focused from a point of view (i.e. they seem to be grasping for the meta-narrative while appearing to be neutral decontructionists (very much the case with Marshall's writing on conversion).
I thought I was getting a Protestant history, but instead I was getting a collection of contemporary scholars who cast doubting language on the whole tradition and only confuse an understanding of this history.
The final sentences tell the whole zeitgeist of these academics:
"English Protestantism... was subversive, combative, intellectual and individualistic, drawing on the printshop and the pulpit; and at the same time hierarchical, universalist and eager to ally with the magistrate.
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