The Reformation

Andrew D. Brown

in Popular Piety in Late Medieval England

Published in print March 1995 | ISBN: 9780198205210
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191676550 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Historical Monographs

The Reformation

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  • Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)
  • History of Religion


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There is quite plausible evidence to suggest that, by the early sixteenth century, more lay people were prepared to welcome radical change. Protestant heresy could feed off a long and active tradition of Lollard dissent. In seeking reasons for the acceptance of change, one must gauge attitudes towards the less destructive aspects of the Reformation. The reforms under Edward VI were intended to establish a godly commonwealth, morally and socially reformed, in which the scriptural Word of God was preached from the pulpit. Acquiescence in these reforms may have depended neither on immediate conversion to Protestantism nor on a full appreciation of all the theological issues at stake. Some forms of pious practice survived the Reformation and some of the concerns of reformers may have reached across any theological divide. This chapter looks at signs for the growing interest in reform in the early sixteenth century and shows that they can be misleading. It then examines the difficult passage of the Reformation and the reasons for its acceptance in the region.

Keywords: Reformation; Edward VI; conversion; Protestantism; lay people; Word of God; pious practice

Chapter.  11287 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500) ; History of Religion

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