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RELI 0220 / HIST 0220 English Reformation

Although far from isolated from the revolutionary currents of religious thought and practice which shook contemporary Europe, the English Reformation followed a distinctive course in which the needs and desires of successive rulers were a crucial factor. Yet neither King Henry VIII, nor any of his three children who succeeded him, had things entirely their own way, and English religious life was also moulded from below. As well as studying contemporary theological and other texts, students in this course will explore political and social ramifications of religious change with the aid of flourishing modern scholarship. 

Sample Syllabus

  • The Late Medieval Church in England
  • The King’s Great Matter: Henry VIII’s Reformation
  • Protestant Reformation under Edward VI
  • An English Counter-Reformation?
  • The Elizabethan Settlement
  • Popular Religion in Reformation England
  • Reforming Art
  • The Reformation of Literature


Introductory Reading

  • Marshall, P., Reformation England, 1480–1642. London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2nd edn, 2012
  • Duffy, E., The Stripping of the Altars: Traditional Religion in England c.1400-c.1580. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2nd edn, 2005
  • Haigh, C., English Reformations: Religion, Politics and Society under the Tudors. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993
  • MacCulloch, D., The Later Reformation in England, 1547-1603. Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2nd edn, 2001
  • Duffy, E. et al. (eds), The Church of Mary Tudor. Aldershot : Ashgate, 2006
  • King, J.N. (ed.), Voices of the English Reformation: A Sourcebook. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004
Over 25 years on
I attended CMRS over 25 years ago; now I live outside Washington, DC, where I practice law before the federal appeals courts and the U.S. Supreme Cour...
Greg Castanias, Autumn Semester 1985, Wabash College