The rood of Boxley, the blood of Hailes and the defence of the Henrician church.(Henry VIII and religious controversies)
Marshall, Peter. (1995) The rood of Boxley, the blood of Hailes and the defence of the Henrician church.(Henry VIII and religious controversies). Journal of Ecclesiastical History, Vol.46 (No.4). pp. 689-696. ISSN 0022-0469Full text not available from this repository.
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Recent research has rendered untenable the glib characterisation of the Henrician Reformation as 'Catholicism without the Pope', but the essential nature of the motives and achievements of Henry VIII and his ministers in the 1530s and 1540s remains a controversial issue. To J. K. McConica, the polity created in the 1530s was an 'Erasmian' one, with the views of the great humanist on such matters as vernacular Scripture, superstitious pilgrimage and religious instruction providing a consensual nexus to bind together all but the most extreme shades of religious opinion.(1) More recently, Glyn Redworth has similarly argued that the Henrician Reform was from the first 'an intellectually coherent and satisfying movement', and that it had positive and distinctive religious aspirations, seeking to use the techniques of 'Protestant' evangelism to transmit a purged but none the less essentially Catholic doctrine.(2) G. W. Bernard has, by contrast, characterised the direction of religious policy after the break with Rome as 'deliberately ambiguous', and sees Henry as a ruler who held together an unwieldy coalition of interests by employing the rhetoric of continental Protestantism while inhibiting the implementation of any fundamental change.(3) Eamon Duffy's poignant description of the destruction wrought upon late medieval Catholicism points to a king who was 'on the whole committed to the reform of the saints and of images', but in other respects fundamentally conservative, and whose policy was erratically steered by his reliance on advisors sympathetic or hostile to the evangelical cause.(4) Richard Rex's recent survey of the Reformation under Henry VIII concludes that the 'Word of God' rhetoric and the model of Old Testament kingship employed by Henry and his propagandists to justify his assumption of the royal supremacy led inevitably to an assault on many aspects of popular religion, reclassified as unscriptural and superstitious.(5) Taking up some of the suggestions of these works, the following brief examination of a cause celebre of 1538 and its repercussions will attempt to demonstrate the way in which the detection by royal agents of ostensibly fraudulent superstition, rooted in the religious houses, was exploited to justify both to a domestic and an international audience the king's assumption of the Royal Supremacy. The assertion and defence of this supremacy was, to the king's mind at least, the central and continuing preoccupation of the Henrician Reformation, and to that end evidence of religious trickery perpetrated under the auspices of the papacy could be of service both to evangelicals and conservatives within the Henrician establishment, supplying a discourse of respectability and purpose which helped to orientate the English Church amidst the competing directions in which it was being pulled.
|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Subjects:||B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
|Divisions:||Faculty of Arts > History|
|Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):||Religion and politics -- Great Britain -- History -- 16th century, Propaganda -- Great Britain -- History -- 16th century, Great Britain -- History -- Henry VIII, 1509-1547, Great Britain -- Church History -- 16th century, Superstition -- Great Britian -- History -- 16th century|
|Journal or Publication Title:||Journal of Ecclesiastical History|
|Publisher:||Cambridge University Press|
|Official Date:||October 1995|
|Number of Pages:||8|
|Page Range:||pp. 689-696|
|Access rights to Published version:||Restricted or Subscription Access|
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