Luther's Legacy: Salvation and English Reformers, 1525-1556

By Carl R. Trueman | Go to book overview

2
The Intellectual Context 1

THE greatest influences on the English Reformers were, of course, the exciting theological developments taking place on the Continent. However, while the theological endeavours of Luther and his fellow Reformers were the crucial intellectual force behind their thought, the English Reformers worked out their theology in the context of a number of other important influences. The precise impact of these influences can only be determined through a detailed examination of the English Reformers' written works, but certain general observations can and should be made as a prelude to such a task. With the exception of John Bradford, all of the men in this study were educated under a system which had yet to absorb the insights of Reformation theology, and it was from this pre-Reformation education that they were to emerge as Reformers.


PATRISTIC THEOLOGY

The English Reformers regarded the patristic writers as being of fundamental importance because of the need to establish that they were not theological innovators but restorers of the pure doctrine of the early Church. This does not mean that they regarded the Fathers as having an authority equal to that of scripture but that they considered them to be more reliable guides to Christian truth than the medieval scholastic theologians.

William Tyndale does not quote patristic sources as often as some of his contemporaries. As a result, some scholars have tended to minimize or ignore the role which patristic thought played in his theology.1 In fact, Tyndale does demonstrate

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1
Clebsch devotes no attention to the role of the Fathers in Tyndale's theology. Examples of those who minimize their significance for Tyndale include C. W. Dugmore, The Mass and the English Reformers ( London, 1958), 104; and S. L. Greenslade, TheEnglish Reformers and the Fathers of the Church

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Luther's Legacy: Salvation and English Reformers, 1525-1556
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Contents ix
  • Note on Texts xi
  • Abbreviations xii
  • Introduction 1
  • Part One - The Historical and Intellectual Context 7
  • 1 - Five Roads to Martyrdom 9
  • 2 - The Intellectual Context 1 31
  • 3 - The Intellectual Context 2 54
  • Part Two - The Reformers Under Henry VIII 81
  • 4 - William Tyndale 83
  • 5 - John Frith 121
  • 6 - Robert Barnes 156
  • Conclusion to Part Two 198
  • Part Three - The Reformers Under Edward VI and Mary 203
  • 7 - John Hooper 205
  • 8 - John Bradford 243
  • Conclusion to Part Three 289
  • Bibliography 294
  • Index 303
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