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Historians and the Church of EnglandReligion and Historical Scholarship, 1870–1920$
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James Kirby

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198768159

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198768159.001.0001

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The Reformation Settlement

The Reformation Settlement

(p.165) 7 The Reformation Settlement
Historians and the Church of England

James Kirby

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines Anglican historians’ views of the Reformation settlement—a term covering both doctrine and matters of church and state. This remained a subject of polemical and constitutional importance in public debate, and so was hotly contested by different schools of Anglican thought. Moderate High Church scholars, including Mandell Creighton and the prime minister William Gladstone, emphasized the continuity of the English Church across the Reformation: this was crucial to their conception of the post-Reformation Church of England as the true heir of the Catholic Church of the Middle Ages. This was the orthodox view, but specialist archival scholars, particularly the Anglo-Catholics J. S. Brewer, James Gairdner, and Nicholas Pocock, repudiated the Reformation church as a Protestant aberration. Protestant Anglicans, meanwhile, took up a variety of different positions—liberal, Evangelical, Erastian. This is a subject which goes to the heart of Anglican identity in this period.

Keywords:   Reformation, Gladstone, Erastianism, Anglo-Catholicism, Protestantism, Tractarianism, Anglicanism, R. W. Dixon, F. W. Maitland, Mandell Creighton

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