Writing the history of religious authority in England 1560-1700

Harmes, Marcus (2009) Writing the history of religious authority in England 1560-1700. In: Legacies 09 Conference, 13-14 Feb 2009, Toowoomba, Australia.

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This paper examines the contesting histories of the sixteenth-century English Reformation produced during the seventeenth century and will do so within the context of the conference theme 'history, ideology and the refashioning of the past'. This study will be focused on the text Actes and Monuments by John Foxe and will interpret the writing of the history of religious reform as it pertained to the exercise of ecclesiastical authority in early modern England. By the late-sixteenth century Actes and Monuments had consolidated its position as the most authoritative history of the English Reformation, an authority expected of a text which was commissioned by the Church of England’s episcopal hierarchy. It was widely available in England and was disseminated in churches, chapels, cathedrals and in homes, but despite its popularity and authority, it was also an intangible and ever-changing text, subject to frequent revisions and changes in emphasis, even after the death of Foxe himself. This paper argues that a text commissioned by bishops and commemorating the reformation of the established Church of England could be refashioned to challenge and dispute the authority of reformed church leaders. This paper therefore scrutinizes the writing of the history of the Reformation in the century following the original reforms, identifying in these histories debates regarding the establishment of reformed authority and the challenge which the history of reform posed to later generations of church leaders.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Paper not held.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Arts - No Department
Date Deposited: 21 May 2014 05:51
Last Modified: 21 May 2014 05:51
Uncontrolled Keywords: english reformation; John Foxe; english episcopacy
Fields of Research : 22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2204 Religion and Religious Studies > 220401 Christian Studies (incl. Biblical Studies and Church History)
22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2204 Religion and Religious Studies > 220405 Religion and Society
21 History and Archaeology > 2103 Historical Studies > 210305 British History
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970121 Expanding Knowledge in History and Archaeology
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/20039

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