"The Stripping of the Altars" by Eamon Duffy

Has anyone ever read this book? I just started and find in fascinating.

Yes, it’s very interesting, although not unchallenged in the scholarly world. I don’t buy his dismissal of the Lollards and other dissenting groups as a significant influence on English Protestantism (I asked him about this when he came to Duke and he said he thought those guys mostly became Anabaptists–I don’t see evidence for this). More broadly, this means that he doesn’t do justice to the pressure from below that helped bring the Reformation about, although the thesis that the English Reformation was largely a coercive movement sponsored by the government does seem to have a lot of weight. But of course it isn’t an either/or.

I also have a professor who thinks Duffy makes a number of mistakes in talking about late medieval religion, creating an overly idealized view of it that exaggerates the differences between it and what followed (for instance, Duffy follows John Bossy in seeing an emphasis on the Ten Commandments as characteristic of post-Reformation Christianity whether Catholic or Protestant; but catechesis based on the Ten Commandments was common in the Middle AGes as well).

Edwin

When you are finished you might like to try Voices of Morebath: Reformation and Rebellion in an English Village I think that it is based on a journal that the parish priest kept at the time.

[quote=Contarini]Yes, it’s very interesting, although not unchallenged in the scholarly world. I don’t buy his dismissal of the Lollards and other dissenting groups as a significant influence on English Protestantism (I asked him about this when he came to Duke and he said he thought those guys mostly became Anabaptists–I don’t see evidence for this). More broadly, this means that he doesn’t do justice to the pressure from below that helped bring the Reformation about, although the thesis that the English Reformation was largely a coercive movement sponsored by the government does seem to have a lot of weight. But of course it isn’t an either/or.

I also have a professor who thinks Duffy makes a number of mistakes in talking about late medieval religion, creating an overly idealized view of it that exaggerates the differences between it and what followed (for instance, Duffy follows John Bossy in seeing an emphasis on the Ten Commandments as characteristic of post-Reformation Christianity whether Catholic or Protestant; but catechesis based on the Ten Commandments was common in the Middle AGes as well).

Edwin
[/quote]

I’m surprised Duffy failed to give you a more full explaination of his thesis regarding Lollards. He explains it thouroughly in the latest edition’s Introduction. Basically, I’m going from memory here as I don’t have the book with me, there is little nexus between Lollardism and the Reformation geographically and chronologically. The locations where Lollardism flourished are not the hotbeds of the Reformation. Moreover, there is considerable evidence that Lollardism was virtually extinct well before the reign of Henry.

[quote=yinekka]When you are finished you might like to try Voices of Morebath: Reformation and Rebellion in an English Village I think that it is based on a journal that the parish priest kept at the time.
[/quote]

Thanks I will

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