Lambeth Palace Library
In association with the Institute of Historical Research
Histories of the post-Reformation Church of (and in) England are, as is well known, often incompatible with each other. Much of the relevant scholarly output of recent times has been taken up with trying to resolve existing contradictory interpretations of what, exactly, happened at and after the Reformation. The same ur-texts (Cranmer, Jewel, Andrewes et al.) are frequently cited as authorities by those who see the English Church in completely different ways. Likewise, political narratives that are technically about the same topic often focus on quite different things. It has never been easy to say exactly what we mean by terms such as ‘puritanism’, ‘Calvinism’, ‘Laudianism’, and so on.
Consensus and agreement are, frankly, not expected or likely any time soon. But there have been similar divergences in the narratives compiled by those in the past who wanted to narrate overtly ‘Catholic’ accounts of the Long Reformation. Putting these alongside the better known ‘Anglican’ disagreements on such matters tells one something about both of them. Not least, it allows for a discussion of what we might take to be the ‘Catholic’ tradition in the Church of England.
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