The Origins of the English Reformation Reconsidered
Lecture by Peter Marshall
Given at the University of British Columbia on September 16, 2014
How different might the first years of the English Reformation look if we try to view them forwards rather than backwards, remembering that the first generation of converts to reform were not early “Protestants,” but late medieval Catholic Christians? This lecture will argue that we need to see the concerns of the early Reformation as emerging from, as much as reacting against, the mainstream devotional priorities of early sixteenth-century Catholicism. It will examine how reformers remained in important ways shaped by their Catholic heritage of ritual and piety, and the implications for understanding the process of conversion.
Peter Marshall is Professor of History at the University of Warwick, where he has taught since 1994. He specializes in the religious and cultural history of early modern Britain, particularly the impact of the Reformation. He is the author of several books, including The Catholic Priesthood and the English Reformation (1994), Beliefs and the Dead in Reformation England (2002) and Mother Leakey and the Bishop: A Ghost Story (2006). He is currently writing a major new survey of the English Reformation for Yale University Press.