The Legacy of Edward VI as Explained in Tudor Church Militant: Edward VI and the Protestant Reformation

The Legacy of Edward VI as Explained in Tudor Church Militant: Edward VI and the Protestant Reformation

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MACCULLOCH, D. Tudor Church Militant: Edward VI and the Protestant Reformation. London, Penguin Books, 2001.

The foundation of this book comes from a series of Birkbeck lectures which the author, Diarmaid MacCulloch, delivered at the University of Cambridge in the Lent term of 1998. MacCulloch’s purpose in writing Tudor Church Militant: Edward VI and the Protestant Reformation were to voice his argument that the Edwardian reformation was a critical moment in the progress of the Anglican Church and the establishing of England’s Protestant identity.
The aim of this book is to recapture King Edward’s reformation of the Church of England from revisionists such as Haigh, Duffy and Pollard. They and others viewed that the reorganisation of the church was indecisive, weak and insignificant. MacCulloch intends to argue that the reformation was essentially consistent, effective and ultimately a Protestant one.

Within the book are four main chapters present the reign and legacy of Edward VI Reformation. This book also includes a list of illustrations, acknowledgements, notes, bibliography and an abbreviation list, which helps readers understand in more detail about the Edwardian Reformation.
The first chapter; Dramatis Personae, looks at the moments immediately before Edward VI’s accession where Henry VIII had left an enthusiastic council to look over his son Edward. With Edward Seymour recognised as Lord Protector, government set about pursuing a religious revolution whilst also creating the boy King into a deeply religious, well-educated man that was significant and respected.
The second chapter; King Josiah: Purifying the Realm, looks at the start of Edward VI reign and the improvements and attention of religious policy. MacCulloch ide...


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...glish church and its breakdown whilst exposing the reformation under monarchs Henry VIII and Edward VI as an attack on traditional religion. Seen as a revisionist, Duffy’s work emphasises on the traditional religion and the idea of a relatively slow Reformation imposed from above. Duffy’s book end at 1580, during the reign of Elizabeth I, as he believes that the reformed Anglican Church was sufficiently in place by that date and that the return to Catholicism was unlikely.

MacCulloch’s view as a post-revisionist offers a unique and distinctive view into the subject of the English Reformation under Edward VI’s reign. He succeeds in developing his idea that the Reformation was distinct during Edward VI reign by explaining and arguing with other historians opinions in great detail and has set a new path for further thinking and research on the Edwardian Reformation.

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