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The English Reformation Paperback – July 1, 2005

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Paperback, July 1, 2005
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The English Reformation + The Stripping of the Altars: Traditional Religion in England, 1400-1580 + English Reformations: Religion, Politics, and Society under the Tudors
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 460 pages
  • Publisher: Penn State University Press; 2nd edition (July 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0271028688
  • ISBN-13: 978-0271028682
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #101,896 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

A.G.. Dickens is Professor Emeritus of History at the University of London and co-author of The Reformation in Historical Thought (1985).

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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By C-Rock on January 3, 2007
A.G. Dickens book, the English Reformation, is one of the most influential books on the Reformation ever written, and this fact makes an evaluation very difficult. For Dickens, the Reformation had much less to do with the divorce of Henry VIII than with the corruption and decay of the Catholic Church and the rising expectations of a literate, educated laity. When Protestantism emerged, according to Dickens, it was rapidly taken up by the average Englishmen who was tired of Catholic ritual and hungry for preaching and direct experience of reading Scripture. There was a "magnetic process" that attracted the English to Protestantism because of its intrinsic merits, something that Dickens argues makes it a viable religion today (81). That Dickens' argument found a warm reception in the twentieth century should come as no surprise, for it made the Reformation not an act of state--imposed by fiat on an unwilling populace--but the natural progression of a literate, rational, hence modernizing society. To make his argument, Dickens relies on varied primary and secondary source material, ranging from parish records, prayer books, to the state papers of Henry VIII, and even the memoirs of a Venetian ambassador in England. However, Dickens' favorite and most problematic source is doubtless John Foxe's propagandistic martyrology, The Acts and Monuments (1563). Foxe an early Protestant who saw first hand the Marian persecutions, recounts the history and the development of the English Church from the time of John Wycliffe through the "Marian reaction" to Elizabeth I.

Dickens shows the English Reformation to be "an integral part of the European movement," which was propelled by the new learning of the Renaissance (13).
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