Ann M. Johnson Emory University The English Reformation has been, for many years, a topic of considerable controversy among students of sixteenth and seventeenth century British history. Over the years scholars have referred to the Reformation as an act of state, an act of God, a process of Protestantization, a retreat from orthodoxy. More specifically, for many years, from Maurice Powicke to Christopher Hill, one school of thought has maintained that the English Reformation was a revolution from above, that the English church and the English people were acted upon. l Another point of view, which has gained increasing acceptance by scholars, is aimed primarily at seeing the Reformation not merely as an act of state, but also as the people's response to "a series of constitutional, social and religious changes.,,2 The growing acceptance of this approach has enabled students of the period to examine various aspects of the Reformation in a specialized and detailed manner in the hope of assessing in depth the diverse elements which compose it. This method of appraisal has given rise to a considerable number of specialized and localized Reformation studies. 3 The purpose of this study is to examine 1Christopher Hill, Puritanism
Explorations in Renaissance Culture – Brill
Published: Dec 2, 1974
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