Monday, September 28, 2015

28 September 2015 A.D. Dr. Lee Gatiss—Receiving the Reformation


28 September 2015 A.D. Dr. Lee Gatiss—Receiving the Reformation
A vintage and very important phrase from Dr. Gatiss:
“…All most enlightening, reminding us of the `strange death of Lutheran England’ and the clear shift after Edward VI to a more Reformed version of Protestantism that characterised the settled state of the Church here in this formative period.” To wit, the "strange death of Lutheran England." I'd suggest 1540 as that date, but it needs to be tested. Most certainly by 1550. Lutheranism in England probably ended with the martyrdom of the Rev. Dr. Robert Barnes. To this day, one will not find many Lutheran Churches in England. by 1550. The Church of England was Reformed, not Lutheran. One will not find many Lutheran Churches in England. Lutheranism in England probably died with Dr. Robert Barnes' martyrdom in 1540.

Gatiss, Lee. “Receiving the Reformation.” Lee Gatiss. 28 Sept 2015. https://leegatiss.wordpress.com/2015/09/28/receiving-the-reformation/. Accessed 28 Sept 2015.
Receiving the Reformation

A review of The Reception of Continental Reformation in Britain

This volume, edited by Polly Ha and the late Patrick Collinson, explores the relationships between reformations on the continent and in Britain, which are still, far too often, studied in blessed isolation from each other. Once we start discussing the relationship of our island story to “Europe”, we enter, of course, into a perennially tense debate!

It has become fashionable amongst early modern historians, though not amongst some high churchmen, to draw thick and tight lines between the reformers in Zurich, Wittenberg, Geneva, Strasbourg, and the English Reformation. The Church of England emerges from this as part of an international Reformed movement, and far less as an exceptional case (the invention of “Anglicanism” per se being a myth promoted by Newman and the Oxford Movement).

This volume contributes to that scholarly movement of thought by rediscovering the Continental dimensions of the Reformations in Britain. Individual theologians such as Peter Martyr Vermigli, Martin Bucer, Martin Luther, and John Knox come under scrutiny, as does the politics of book purchase in the sixteenth century parish. All most enlightening, reminding us of the “strange death of Lutheran England” and the clear shift after Edward VI to a more Reformed version of Protestantism that characterised the settled state of the Church here in this formative period.

While I’m on the subject of the Reformation, honourable mention must go to the terrific survey of the Reformation in Andrew Atherstone’s The Reformation: Faith and Flames. This is a beautifully produced hardback, exceptionally well-written, and theologically reliable. More than that, it takes the reader on an inspiring journey. Dr Atherstone has an enviable ability to reduce his great learning and thorough research into readable and pithy prose. It is not as racy as Mike Reeves’ The Unquenchable Flame: Introducing the Reformation, but it would be an excellent book at bedtime or book of the term to read with others.

This review was first published in Churchman 128/2 (2014).

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