Thomas More, William Tyndale, and The Printing of Religious Propaganda

John N. King

in The Oxford Handbook of Tudor Literature

Published in print September 2009 | ISBN: 9780199205882
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Literature

 Thomas More, William Tyndale, and The Printing of Religious Propaganda

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This article focuses on the role of printing propaganda in the progress of religious controversy during the era of Sir Thomas More and his leading antagonist, William Tyndale. Advancing competing religious agendas, printed polemics ranged from broadsheets to pamphlets — their ephemerality reflected in the fact that they frequently remained unbound — to more substantial tracts, manuals, commentaries, and treatises. Written largely in the vernacular, polemics of this kind represented the chief means of engaging in doctrinal debate during different phases of the English Reformation. Even more, they articulated significant issues concerning the nature and importance of printing at a time when monarchical government attempted to control public discourse; concerning competition between unauthorized expression and official control of beliefs; concerning interrelationships among different levels of the literacy hierarchy; concerning Bible translation and translation theory; and concerning the fundamentally dialogic nature of tracts based upon pro and contra argumentation.

Keywords: propaganda printing; printed polemics; religious debate; English Reformation

Article.  7938 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)

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