Academic journal article Anglican and Episcopal History

An Apology of the Church of England by John Jewel

Academic journal article Anglican and Episcopal History

An Apology of the Church of England by John Jewel

Article excerpt

JOHN E. BOOTY, ED. An Apology of the Church of England by John Jewel. New York: Church Publishing Incorporated, 2002 (first published in 1963 by University Press of Virginia). Pp. xlvii + 157, introduction, bibliography, index. $18.95 (paper).

This is a reprint of John Booty's meticulous 1963 edition of Bishop Jewel's defense of the Church of England, originally written in Latin in 1562 to meet Roman Catholic taunts, and first translated into English by Lady Anne Bacon in 1564. The idea to reissue it was a good one since it has been long out of print, and Booty's introductory essay was quickly recognized to be a classic piece of scholarship. There is no need to make a justification for having Jewel's work available in an easily accessible edition, and as historians and their students continue to study the Reformation with even more zeal than they did in the 1960s, it is good to have one of the most important primary sources available for all to use. The Apologyremains a central text for how the church officially saw itself in the 1560s, and indeed it was so crucial to the self-definition of the fledgling Anglican Church that Archbishop Bancroft in 1609 decreed that copies of it should be available in every parish. It should also be required reading for all historians working on the Reformation, and Booty's care in tracking down all the references within jewel's text makes this an extremely informative and well annotated edition.

What, however, might be worth commenting on is the decision to reprint Booty's edition exactly as he had it in 1963. How far does his introduction stand up to the test of time, or how far could the opportunity have been taken to utilize the wealth of scholarship that has been carried out during the last forty years? The short answer is that it still reads remarkably well. This is partly because there has not been a great deal of scholarship on jewel or the Apology itself since Booty produced his edition; his text seemed to require little more comment, and in this regard there are probably no significant omissions from the bibliography. Nevertheless, rereading jewel's Apology suggests that it makes an interesting intervention into some of the current interpretations of the Reformation, and a revised introduction could have located this more firmly within the debates between scholars such as Diarmaid McCullough (who argues that the Church of England was in this period dominated by a Genevan model) and Eamon Duffy (who argues that the church's leaders had at least lingering if not real attachments to Roman Catholicism). …

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