Where: The Hampton Inn

Cost: $115.00 for 4 session(s)

Type: In Person


Instructor: Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of Arizona and Fellow

In 2000 the Protestant Reformation was frequently cited as the most important historical event in the previous millennium. On the 500th anniversary of this iconic moment, it is necessary to emphasize that the English Reformation did not follow the continental models associated with Luther, Calvin and Zwingli. In particular reform began in secular concerns and only later addressed religious questions. The reformation in England was not a single event but a process that required nearly two centuries to become final.

Week 1: The Advent of Religious Change, 1500-1558
Political and personal issues started Henry VIII (1509-1547) on the path of religious change. His goals in the realm of theology never became clear. Politically radical and yet conservative in doctrine, Henry’s dictates left many puzzled. Henry unleashed a whirlwind he could not control. His immediate successors enjoyed no more success.

Week 2: The Elizabethan Settlement, 1558-1603
Queen Elizabeth I (1558-1603) imposed a comprehensive settlement of religion that led to the supremacy of her Anglican church. Yet this reconciliation of church and state was incomplete for both Catholics and `religious dissenters, now known as Puritans, who questioned religious affairs until Elizabeth’s death.

Week 3: Religion and the English Civil War, 1603-1660
Religion played a significant role in the English Civil War (1640-1660), also known as the Puritan Revolution (or Rebellion). The status and nature of religious reform was still in flux, although the state ostensibly determined the sphere of religion. The agenda of Oliver Cromwell (1649-1658) ultimately failed.

Week 4: Religion in the Restoration and Glorious Revolution, 1660-1689
When Charles II (1660-1685) was restored to the throne, what the people should believe was still a major issue. The Anglican Church returned as well but Dissenting (Protestant non-Anglican) religions, although subject to persecution and prosecution, remained strong. In the Glorious Revolution of 1688-9 the Act of Toleration finally settled religion. The Anglican Church retained its supremacy but the Dissenting religions, although suffering civil disabilities, no longer had to fear the state. The Anglican Church, by law established, reigned supreme.

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