Friday, September 28, 2012

Oaths and The English Reformation

Here's a specialized but important title: Oaths and the English Reformation from Cambridge University Press by Jonathan Michael Gray:

The practice of swearing oaths was at the centre of the English Reformation. On the one hand, oaths were the medium through which the Henrician regime implemented its ideology and secured loyalty among the people. On the other, they were the tool by which the English people embraced, resisted and manipulated royal policy. Jonathan Michael Gray argues that since the Reformation was negotiated through oaths, their precise significance and function are central to understanding it fully. Oaths and the English Reformation sheds new light on the motivation of Henry VIII, the enforcement of and resistance to reform and the extent of popular participation and negotiation in the political process. Placing oaths at the heart of the narrative, this book argues that the English Reformation was determined as much by its method of implementation and response as it was by the theology or political theory it transmitted.

You might remember how Robert Bolt's Thomas More in A Man for All Seasons is eager to know exactly the wording of Henry VIII's first oath, the Succession Oath, so he can ascertain IF he CAN swear it; thus Professor Gray of Virginia's Theology Seminary is correct that the oaths' "precise significance and function are central to understanding" them and their effects on the implementation of Henry VIII's Break from Rome. This work is based on the author's PhD thesis at Stanford University and it looks like oaths have been central to his academic work.

Table of Contents:


Notes on the text
List of abbreviations

1. The theoretical basis of swearing oaths
2. Oaths, subscriptions, and the implementation of the Parliamentary reforms of 1534
3. The origin and motivation of the Henrician professions
4. Responses to the oaths of succession and supremacy
5. Oaths and the pilgrimage of grace
6. Oaths, evangelicals, and heresy prosecution

Appendix A. The oaths of a bishop-elect to the Pope
Appendix B. The oaths of a bishop-elect to the King in restitution for their temporalities
Appendix C. The promise of the bishops to renounce the Pope and his bulls
Appendix D. The oaths of succession
Appendix E. Instructions for the visitation of the friars, their profession, and the profession of other clerical institutions in 1534
Appendix F. The professions of bishops and universities in 1535
Appendix G. Post-1535 Henrician oaths of supremacy

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