Reformed Churchmen

We are Confessional Calvinists and a Prayer Book Church-people. In 2012, we remembered the 350th anniversary of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer; also, we remembered the 450th anniversary of John Jewel's sober, scholarly, and Reformed "An Apology of the Church of England." In 2013, we remembered the publication of the "Heidelberg Catechism" and the influence of Reformed theologians in England, including Heinrich Bullinger's Decades. For 2014: Tyndale's NT translation. For 2015, John Roger, Rowland Taylor and Bishop John Hooper's martyrdom, burned at the stakes. Books of the month. December 2014: Alan Jacob's "Book of Common Prayer" at: January 2015: A.F. Pollard's "Thomas Cranmer and the English Reformation: 1489-1556" at: February 2015: Jaspar Ridley's "Thomas Cranmer" at:

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

"People of the Book: Success in the English Reformation

Konkola, Kari, and Diarmaid MacCulloch. "People of the book Success in the English Reformation." History Today 53, no. 10 (October 2003): 23. Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost (accessed December 14, 2010).

Kari Konkola and Diarmaid MacCulloch use the evidence of "book publishing" to contribute to the debate about how widely the English Reformation affected ordinary men and women. The agenda-driven revisionist Haigh argues the Reformation was not influential far and wide...based on assessments of diocesan and parish registers. This article "starts" to get at the inadequacy of Haigh's conclusions based upon baptism, confirmation, marriage and funeral records.

I had an opportunity to review the church records under my Dad's 45-year pastorate (same church). Quite impossibly, could any qualitative conclusion be drawn about those people and their lives. Ditto on Haigh's method. A preliminary whiff of speciousness, at this point.

As of this date, our understanding is that Kari Konkola was/is an independent scholar based in Wisconsin, USA. Also, Diarmaid MacCulloch was--perhaps still is--Professor of the History of the Church, St Cross College, Oxford. Although, somewhere we heard that he is in Scotland somewhere (?). All of Diarmaid's work merit close reading, especially his Thomas Cranmer.

We cite the conclusion to the article.

"The discrepancy between what academics are teaching about Tudor and Stuart England and what early modern English people were reading raises a troubling question: are historians communicating an accurate picture of the past? Do modern students, many of whom will feel that religion is irrelevant in their lives besides being dull and incomprehensible, really learn about the ideas that were most common and most influential in seventeenth-century England, the formative period of the British Empire and of the colonies which went on to form the United States? If they do not, that is perhaps why they do not readily appreciate what a huge success the English Reformation became."

These questions are still unaddressed.

Further reading, which includes some revisionists, e.g. Haigh, Scarisbrick and Duffy.

Karl Konkola, People of the Book: The Production of Theological Texts in Early Modern England, The Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, Vol. 94, No. (March 2000), pp. 5-33

Christopher Haigh, 'Success and Failure in the English Reformation,' Past and Present, 173 (November 2001), pp. 28-49

Noel Malcolm, Aspects of Hobbes (Oxford UP, 2002), esp. pp. 336-82

J.J. Scarisbrick, The Reformation and the English People (Blackwell, 1983)

Eamon Duffy, The Stripping of the Altars: traditional religion in England 1400-1580 (Yale UP, 1992)

Nicholas Tyacke, 'Re-thinking the English Reformation', in Tyacke (ed.), England's long Reformation 1500-1800 (Taylor and Francis, 1998)

Christopher Haigh, 'So why did it happen?' Part 1 of a two-part series titled 'Rewriting the Reformation' in The Tablet, April 20th, 2002, pp. 11-12

Patrick Collinson, 'The world did move' Part 2 of the series. The Tablet, April 27th, 2002, pp. 11-12.

No comments: